A stroke, also known as cerebral vascular accident (CVA), occurs when blood flow to the brain is stopped. Miller and Keane provide the definition: "Rupture or blockage of a blood vessel in the brain, depriving parts of the brain of blood supple, resulting in loss of consciousness, paralysis or other symptoms depending on the site and extent of brain damage."
Who can suffer from a stroke?
According to the National Stroke Association (NSA) ? strokes occur in people of all ages. It?s a common misconception, yet every year thousands of children suffer from strokes, though rare, it is estimated that about ?1,000 infants are year suffer a stroke during the newborn period or before birth ? plus anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 from are one month to 18 years.? Babies and Strokes ? How to Treat the Smallest Victims by Lauran Neergaard
? Every second, 32,000 neurons ? brain cells ?die; that?s 1.9 million a minute ? Your brain loses 14 billion synapses, the vital intersections between neurons ? An oxygen ?starved brain ages about 3.6 years each hour ? The average stroke involves 54 milliliters of brain tissue ? about 3 cubic inches ? and takes 10 hours to evolve
Symptoms of a stroke
It is critical that people recognize the clinical symptoms of a stroke. In adults the symptoms seen could be: ? Sudden numbness or weakness of face are or leg ? Sudden confusion ? trouble speaking or understanding ? Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes ? Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination ? Sudden severe headache. In infants and children a stroke can have the same symptoms. Those symptoms include one-sided weakness, loss of speech and, in babies, seizures.
The residual effects of a stroke can be debilitating. There are the visual signs, which can involve anything from a drooping mouth and or eye to paralysis on one or both sides of the body. Research shows that babies can suffer enough damage to the brain that the there will be permanent motor and cognitive disabilities. It is estimated that between 10 and 25 percent of pediatric stroke sufferers die. The information used in this article came from, http://info.stroke.org, www.ajc.com/health/content/health/1205/13kidstrokes.html and http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,177858,00.html Contributed by Bonnie Rupke RN, LNC, BGS, Rupke & Associates LLC, PO Box 615, Hays, KS 67061, Phone/Fax (785) 625-4464