DENVER, Colo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Pregnancy … it’s a time of joy and anticipation, but for some, it holds a hidden risk – the increased risk of stroke. Although relatively low compared to other health issues, the CDC reports that the risk is increasing in pregnant women. In fact, pregnant women may be up to three times more likely to suffer a stroke than non-pregnant women of the same age.
Briana grant was 24 years old and 24 weeks pregnant when … she says, “I couldn’t see anything. I mean, I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face.”
Alone and slipping in and out of consciousness. When she woke up, she phoned a friend who called for help.
Richard Bellon, MD, Neurointerventional Surgeon at Swedish Medical Center says, “She was having symptoms because of a blockage of a major vessel in the head. She wasn’t getting enough blood flow to the brain. When that happens to people, a small portion of the brain dies pretty much immediately within a matter of minutes.”
Although rare, Doctor Bellon says some problems associated with pregnancy can increase the risk of stroke. They include high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, blood clots … and once a stroke happens, every minute counts.
Doctor Bellon states, “We try to get the blood vessel open as quickly as possible.”
He used a catheter through a small puncture in Briana’s hip.
“We navigate that up into the neck and then we put an even smaller tube up into the brain and essentially apply suction to that to suck the clot out. This is before where the artery is blocked right here. And this is after where it’s open and it all fills out.” Explains Doctor Bellon.
When Briana woke up her speech was slurred, and her entire left side was weak.
Briana says, “… more worried at that point about him than I was myself.”
The stroke didn’t affect her unborn baby. And, three months later …
The inspiration behind his mother’s miraculous recovery.
Her doctors still don’t know what caused Briana’s stroke, but they emphasize the importance of keeping yourself and your baby healthy during pregnancy by not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, choosing healthy foods, and staying physically active.
Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer.
A HOLIDAY MIRACLE: SURVIVING A STROKE WHILE PREGNANT
BACKGROUND: Stroke during pregnancy is a relatively rare but serious medical condition that can have significant consequences for both the mother and the developing fetus. A stroke occurs when there is a disruption of blood flow to the brain, leading to brain damage and potentially causing various neurological impairments. While strokes can happen to anyone, including pregnant women, there are specific risk factors and considerations that make stroke during pregnancy a unique and complex medical issue. Out of every 100,000 women who have babies, between two and 70 of them will have a stroke. This means every year, several thousand women in the United States have a stroke either while pregnant or in the first few weeks that follow their delivery. Elevated blood pressure is a significant risk factor for stroke, and it becomes more common during pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters.
THE STUDY: Briana Grant was 24 weeks pregnant when she was alone and slipped into a realm of unconsciousness. She later woke up and called a friend only to be airlifted to Swedish Medical Center where she had a stroke. Medical professionals reported that she was suffering from the blockage of major blood vessels in her head. When not enough blood flows to the brain, most people suffer the risk of the brain dying in only a matter of minutes. Neurointerventional surgeon Richard Bellon used a catheter through making a small incision in Brianna’s hip. They used this to make their way up to Brianna’s neck where then a smaller tube was used to suck the clot out.
NEW REGULATIONS: Experts recommend that if you are pregnant to regularly check your blood pressure at home. Headaches during the time of delivery are a telltale sign to check your blood pressure. Doctors remind pregnant women that rising blood pressures do not happen out of nowhere. Anything over 120 over 80 is actually considered elevated. If a mother’s blood pressure is high, there are safe medications that can lower your blood pressure. It is important to prevent preeclampsia and treat gestational hypertension when it happens to lower to risk of stroke for future mothers.
* For More Information, Contact: Stephanie Sullivan
Free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs from Ivanhoe. To sign up: http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk