Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Outcomes from pediatric strokes

According to CHASA, here are some of the outcomes from pediatric strokes

  • 85% of infants who have strokes live to adulthood
  • Between 50 and 80 percent of infants and children will have serious, long‐term challenges including: hemiplegia or hemiparesis (one‐sided paralysis); seizures; and speech, visual, behavioral and learning difficulties.
  • Many of these victims will require acute and/or long term rehabilitation

Monday, May 9, 2011

A walk for pediatric stroke

This weekend, some of my extended family members participated in an Orlando area walk to raise money for pediatric stroke. I don't know how much money they raised, but I'm proud of everyone who participated. I wish I could have walked with you.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day to my 3 moms

I'm going to take a break from blogging about pediatric strokes today because I want to wish all the moms out there a Happy Mothers Day, especially my three moms. "How do you have three moms?" you may ask. Well, let me tell you.

First of all, Happy Mothers Day to the woman everyone knows as my mother. I was adopted as an infant by a wonderful, loving family who opened their hearts and homes to two babies when they were unable to have any of their own. Mom, you loved me and made sure I had every advantage in life. I appreciate everything you ever did for me. Thank you so much.

Secondly, Happy Mothers Day to the mother of my dear husband. Without you, the man I married would not exist at all. You molded him into a wonderful man who takes care of all of us. You accepted me into your family and treat me like your own daughter. You are a wonderful grandmother to my two sons.

My third mother is my biological mother. I was born shortly before you turned 16. I know that placing me for adoption was a hard choice for you. Thank you for giving me life.

To all the moms out there, I hope you have a wonderful day. To all those who have lost their mothers and have a hard time on this holiday, may you have some peace to day.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Why is diagnosis of an infant stroke difficult?

Diagnosing a stroke in an infant can be quite difficult. Their brains have not matured enough to observe the subtle signs of a stroke. Often, not using one hand is attributed to the other hand being the dominant one. Sometimes when a baby is late in crawling or walking, doctors just believe that the baby is going to do things late and doesn't look for an underlying reason.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Causes of Infant Stroke

According to CHASA, there are more than 100 causes of strokes in infants and children. These can be caused by things ranging from congenital heart disease, hematological disorders, vascular disorders, sickle cell disease, metabolic disease and an infection while the child has chicken pox. Unfortunately, more than 10% of children who have a stroke will never learn the cause of their stroke.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What is Hemiplegia?

Some victims of childhood stroke are classified has having hemiplegia. This means that they have a paralysis on one side of their body, generally due to disease or injury to the centers of the brain associated with motor control. This is a type of cerebral palsy. This condition is not progressive and cannot be cured. There are therapeutic ways of treating the condition, such as braces, orthotics,  and splints.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Signs of a stroke in an infant

Strokes in infants can be difficult to diagnose. A baby can't tell you what's wrong or if something feels weird or hurts. Most infants aren't diagnosed until they show developmental delays or an early hand preference. My niece was lucky. She was diagnosed quite early.

Here are a few of the signs of a pediatric stroke
  • Seizures on one side of the body
  • Apnea
  • Early hand preference (before 10months)
  • Poor feeding
  • Gross motor development delays
  • Restricted movement in arms and legs
  • Delays in language development
In older children, symptoms include seizures or sudden paralysis of one side of the body.

All of this information can be found on the CHASA Website and on Kids Have Strokes.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Can you tie your shoe with one hand?

Survivors of strokes often have limited or no use of one hand. They have to learn to adapt to do things that most of us take for granted.

When I was in college, I had a brace on my left hand for several months. Although I am right-handed, I never realized how many things I could not do because of the brace. I can only imagine the things for which a stroke victim has to learn to compensate. A simple act of tying one's shoe is made much more difficult when you only have one hand.

Here is a video I found of a child tying a shoe with one hand and limited use of the other hand.


Why don't you try to do a few things with just one hand today?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kids have strokes, too

When I was 9 years old, my grandmother had a stroke. I thought strokes were something that only happened to older people. Unfortunately, I learned differently in 2009.

According to CHASA, 1 in 4000 babies will have a stroke before they are a month old and 11 out of 100,000 children will have a stroke before their 18th birthday. Somewhere between 20-40% of those strokes are fatal. Strokes are more common in boys than in girls. Those numbers are shocking to me.

Just my little tidbit about pediatric strokes today in honor of my niece and to help create awareness for the condition.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Streaking for Pediatric Strokes

For those of you who don't know me, my dear niece A, had 3 strokes in utero. The Children's Hemiplegia & Stroke Association (CHASA) is sponsoring an event called Streak for Pediatric Stroke for the month of May to help promote awareness of this issue. My streak is that I am going to do my very best to blog every day for the month. I will tell you a little about my niece and her condition over the next 31 days. She is a true blessing and I love her dearly.