What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to any part of the brain is interrupted, resulting in tissue injury and loss of brain function. If blood flow is interrupted for longer than a few seconds, brain cells can die, causing permanent damage. The level or severity of impairment resulting from the stroke depends on the location and extent of injury to the brain tissue. Perinatal Stroke occurs before, during, or within the first month after birth. A stroke that occurs before birth may also be called a Prenatal Stroke. Childhood Stroke occurs between one month and 18 years of age.
Incidence of Pediatric Stroke
Perinatal Stroke occurs in approximately one in 4000 full-term births.
Childhood Stroke occurs in approximately 6 in 100,000 children.
Types of Strokes
An Ischemic Stroke is due to blockage of the flow of arterial blood to the brain, usually due to a blood clot.
A Hemorrhagic Stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds into surrounding tissue.
What causes Pediatric Stroke?
Doctors can find the cause of Pediatric stroke in about 2/3 of the cases. Risk factors include heart disorders, clotting disorders, premature birth, prolonged or difficult delivery, and infection. In about 1/3 of all Pediatric Stroke cases, no cause is identified.
The most common risk factors for Childhood Stroke are Sickle Cell Disease and Heart Disease, but can also include infections, birth defects, dehydration and head trauma.