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 Pediatric Strokes 

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to a part of the brain is interrupted or stopped due  a clot or a blood vessel ruptures. Our blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells and organs and when they cannot reach the brain for more than several minutes, the brain cells begin to die. 

Types of Pediatric Stokes


Ischemic stroke is the most common type of childhood stroke. This occurs when a blood clot forms and becomes stuck in an artery to the brain. In some cases, a clot may become stuck in an artery that is injured or narrowed or a clot can form somewhere else in the body and then travels to the brain. 

Transient Ischemic

Transient ischemic attack, or TIA, occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked briefly − usually no more than five minutes. It is sometimes known as a “mini-stroke”. Usually caused by a blood clot. 


The third type is hemorrhagic stroke. This type of stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and blood leaks into the brain. Pressure builds, which interferes with blood flow to the affected area of the brain. Sometimes, as the blood accumulates in brain tissues, a clot forms.

Children at risk of stroke include:

  • Newborns, especially full-term infants

  • Older children with sickle cell anemia, congenital heart defects, immune disorders or problems with blood clotting

  • Previously healthy children who are found to have hidden disorders such as narrow blood vessels or a tendency to form blood clots easily 

If you want to learn more about pediatric strokes, there are many great resources to consult such as American Stroke Association's Pediatric Stroke Page here:  Stroke in Children | American Stroke Association or check out the Information tab.  


Sources: American Stroke Association, National Institute of Health Pediatric Stroke Page, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

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