Stroke and Pregnancy: An Integrative Review With Implications for Neuroscience Nurses

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Abstract

Stroke in association with pregnancy is an infrequent occurrence, but there is evidence that the incidence is rising. The physiological changes of pregnancy are thought to increase stroke risk, and several conditions specific to pregnancy further increase risk. The provision of optimal care to pregnant and postpartum women who experience stroke requires awareness of how the physiological changes of pregnancy may affect the course of stroke and nursing actions. This article provides an overview of current knowledge about pregnancy-related stroke including underlying pathophysiology, risk factors unique to pregnancy, and treatment issues when stroke is a complication of pregnancy. Implications for the nursing care of women with pregnancy-related stroke and maternal child considerations are discussed.

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