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Fetal Stroke

Syracuse Birth Injury Lawyers for Fetal Stroke Injuries

(We have other offices throughout Upstate, New York)

Fetal stroke is considered cerebrovascular accident or brain infarct. It is a stroke that happens between 14 weeks of gestation in the course of labor and delivery when blood supply to the brain is restricted or blocked. Anything that decreases or occludes blood flow, whether hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), formation of blood clots inside a blood vessel, internal bleeding, or trauma, can limit blood flow and result in the death of brain cells. This can, in turn cause permanent birth injuries. If you and your baby were harmed due to fetal stroke and suspect medical negligence, you should call the seasoned Syracuse birth injury lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys. We have 3 decades of experience seeking the best outcomes for babies and their families.

Fetal Stroke

Certain disorders that may increase the odds of fetal stroke include blood disorders, infections, cardiac disorders, maternal health conditions like autoimmune disorders, and maternal blood pressure problems like hypertension. Doctors should be conscious of these risk factors. Sometimes the only indication a fetal stroke is occurring is seizure activity on an EEG, and if a baby does suffer a stroke, he or she should have continuous EEG monitoring. Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across the country are able to perform EEG monitoring. When a NICU doesn't have that capacity, it should perform frequent EEG monitoring.

Birth injuries that may be the result of a fetal stroke not properly addressed include cerebral palsy, seizures, and emotional disabilities. When a baby is not adequately monitored and has seizures, there is greater likelihood of the baby suffering permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy.

Sometimes fetal stroke symptoms don't appear until months or years afterward. However, developmental delays are noticed quite early in other instances. Signs of fetal stroke can also include early preference for use of one hand over the other, apnea or trouble feeding. It's important for your health care providers to conduct early observation for signs of stroke. Sometimes fetal stroke occurs alongside HIE or birth asphyxia, compounding complications.

Early head imaging can be crucial. Likewise, early diagnosis and treatment is important to making sure the baby avoids serious birth injuries; diagnosis may involve MRI, CT scans, cranial ultrasounds, lumbar puncture, and CTA. When a baby has had a stroke, he or she should immediately get medication to assist with blood circulation and avoid a subsequent stroke or permanent brain damage; he or she may also need supplemental oxygen or a ventilator. Sometimes an emergency C-section must be performed. After treatment, rehabilitation may be needed.

Not every mistake made by a health care provider counts as medical malpractice. In order to prove your provider's liability, we will need to prove it's more likely than not: (1) a duty of professional care was owed, (2) breach of the professional duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. Your provider may breach the duty of professional care if she does not act as a reasonably prudent provider in the same specialty in Syracuse would act, given the circumstances.


The amount of damages we can recover once liability is established depends on the severity of injuries and the treatment needed. One potential type of treatment is hypothermia treatment, which involves head cooling administered within 6 hours of birth for 72 hours. Death and neurological impairment may be reduced by this therapy combined with pharmacological agents. However, signs of stroke may not occur for a period of months or years after the stroke happened, and again, the types of symptoms the child experiences would determine the treatment and costs. If a child starts having seizures, for example, anti-seizure medication may be needed. Likewise, if a child has intellectual disabilities and communication problems as a result of one or more fetal strokes, she may need specialized education and therapy. When a doctor's negligence causes the need for these expenses, the doctor should be held accountable for those losses.

Damages our experienced birth injury lawyers may be able to recover include medical bills, rehabilitation, emergency care, nursing care, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

Consult with Experienced Birth Injury Lawyers About Fetal Stroke Injuries

If you need to retain counsel that understands how to establish medical malpractice in a case involving fetal stroke, call the tenacious Syracuse birth injury lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys. We seek best results for babies and their families in Canandaigua, Lowville, Rochester, Utica, Auburn, Ithaca, Watertown, Herkimer, Oswego, Wampsville, Lyons, Cooperstown, Oneida, Binghamton, Elmira, Buffalo, Albany, and all of Upstate New York. Complete our online form or call us at 833-200-2000 for a free consultation.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY