May 5 Designated as National Childhood Stroke Awareness Day

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia commended for its initiative in

creating the nation's first pediatric stroke program

May 05, 2007, 01:00 ET from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

    PHILADELPHIA, May 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Children and teenagers
 suffer from strokes. Although usually a condition in older adults, stroke
 affects approximately 26 out of every 100,000 newborns and nearly six out
 of every 100,000 children each year. This week the U.S. Senate unanimously
 approved a resolution by Robert Casey (D-Pa.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)
 to designate May 5, 2007 National Childhood Stroke Awareness Day. The
 Senate resolution also commends The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for
 its initiative in creating the nation's first program dedicated to
 pediatric stroke patients.
     "The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is committed to raising
 awareness about the symptoms and appropriate treatment of pediatric
 stroke," said Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., president and chief executive
 officer of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The Senate resolution
 to designate May 5, 2007 as National Childhood Stroke Awareness Day helps
 to underscore this important mission."
     A stroke is a sudden neurologic injury that occurs when the blood
 supply to a part of the brain is interrupted after an artery bursts or is
 blocked by a clot. It is a medical emergency that can cause permanent
 neurologic damage or even death if not promptly diagnosed and treated.
     "Although usually thought of as afflicting only elderly patients,
 strokes may occur as early as infancy," said pediatric neurologist Rebecca
 Ichord, M.D., who directs the Pediatric Stroke Program at The Children's
 Hospital of Philadelphia. "Stroke needs to be considered by first-line
 pediatric caregivers who encounter a patient with suspicious neurological
 symptoms, such as difficulty walking or weakness of the limbs on one side
 of the body."
     Stroke is among the top 10 causes of death for children in the U.S.; 12
 percent of all children who experience a stroke die as a result. Strokes in
 children may occur as complications of other illnesses, such as sickle cell
 disease, in which misshapen blood cells obstruct circulation. Another cause
 of stroke may be a whiplash injury to the neck, which damages an artery and
 leaves it a vulnerable site for blood clots.
     Many children who experience a stroke will suffer serious, long-term
 neurological disabilities, including paralysis of one side of the body,
 seizures, speech and vision problems, and learning difficulties. These
 disabilities may require ongoing physical therapy and surgeries.
     Permanent health concerns and treatments resulting from strokes that
 occur during childhood and young adulthood have a considerable economic,
 social and emotional impact on children, families, and society.
     The Senate resolution, and designation of National Childhood Stoke
 Awareness Day urge the people of the United States to support the efforts,
 programs, services, and advocacy of organizations that work to enhance
 public awareness of childhood stroke, including the Children's Hemiplegia
 and Stroke Association; the American Stroke Association, a division of the
 American Heart Association; and the National Stroke Association.
     The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is joining forces with the
 Delaware Valley Stroke Council to promote awareness of pediatric stroke on
 May 8, 2007 as Stroke Alert Day, and throughout May, National Stroke
 Awareness Month.
     About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital
 of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric
 hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional
 patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare
 professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's
 Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children
 worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the
 country, ranking third in National Institutes of Health funding. In
 addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have
 brought the 430-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children
 and adolescents. For more information, visit

SOURCE Children's Hospital of Philadelphia