Perinatal Stroke Infographic
Download the printable Perinatal Stroke infographic (PDF)
Do you know?
Infants and unborn babies can have a stroke.
Perinatal stroke usually occurs between the middle of pregnancy and delivery.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
- Seizures (repetitive twitching of face, arm or leg)
- Apnea (pause in breathing) associated with staring
- Lethargy, poor feeding
What to do:
Alert medical team/emergency services for possible signs of stroke.
- Decreased movement or weakness on one side of the body
- Hand preference before age 1
- Developmental delays
What to do:
Consult with your child’s health care team, which may include a pediatric neurologist. An MRI of the brain is usually required.
If it looks and feels like a stroke, it maybe one.
The cause in most perinatal strokes remains unknown. Some factors that could lead to stroke include:
- Congenital heart disease
- Disorders of the placenta
- Acute blood-clotting disorders
Facts to Know
- About 1% of children with perinatal stroke have more strokes.
- Recurrence in future pregnancies is rare (<1%).
- In one study, perinatal stroke affected about one in 3,500 live births.
- About 65% of children with perinatal stroke will have permanent neurological deficits. These may include one-sided weakness, epilepsy, speech and language difficulties, visual impairments, learning and memory problems, behavior changes.
The American Stroke Association and the International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke – collaborating to treat and beat stroke in infants and children.
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