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Stroke in Children and Infants

Stroke in children is not as rare as we once thought. As medical science advances, previously undiagnosed strokes suffered by children are now being identified and protocols are being developed to treat this condition horrible condition.  


Blood Clots

The majority of strokes in children come from the forming of a blood clot which travels to the brain and blocks the flow of blood.Or a narrowing of a blood vessel causing a reduction in the amount of oxygen being supplied to the brain. This lack of oxygen to the brain causes brain death.


The usual treatment for adults experiencing a stroke due to a blood clot is the administrations of a drug called, tissue plasminogen activator (TPA).  Unfortunately this drug, in most cases, can be too strong for infants and children.



Hemorrhagic Stroke

Hemorrhagic Stroke is when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, blood flows into parts of the brain where it’s not supposed to go. Because the vessel is ruptured, blood isn’t transported to the right locations and parts of the brain is deprived of oxygen. This may lead to permanent brain death or injury. The risk of hemorrhage is higher with certain illnesses such as hemophilia.




In newborns the first symptoms, are often seizures that involve the chaotic spasms of one arm or one leg.  For children, migraines, head trauma, dehydration and sickle cell are the common symptoms and risk factors.  The risk of stroke in children is greatest in the first year of life, particularly in the first two months.


Prevention in adults is in modifying behaviors and taking medication to prevent the first stroke.  For children, since it is more difficult to identify and prevent the first stroke, the primary prevention techniques are to prevent second or additional strokes.