Three young patients of the Institute of “Polish Mother’s Health Center” in Lodz passed COVID-19 asymptomatically, but soon after they developed symptoms of ischemic stroke. – SARS-CoV-2 has a pro-thrombotic effect, therefore ischemic strokes can also occur in children – doctors are alarming.
The youngest patient with a stroke was several months old, and the next two – two and three years old. All three underwent COVID-19 asymptomatically, as do the majority of the pediatric population. They were hospitalized with the standard symptoms of a stroke – including acute hemiparesis, speech disorders, impaired consciousness, and headaches. They had ischemic stroke in the facility.
Doctor Łukasz Przysło, head of the Department of Developmental Neurology and Epileptology at the Institute of Polish Mother’s Health Center, points out that until now, stroke was considered a disease that mainly affects adults or young adults, but not young children.
– All three stories of our little patients had a happy ending, but the very incident of an acute vascular disorder within the brain makes us think about this disease – from the perspective of children – in a completely different way – emphasizes the doctor.
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In the case of three young patients, the strokes occurred in places of the brain that left only small changes in the form of hemiparesis, which, according to doctors, will undergo rehabilitation.
– We must remember that neuropathy in children is higher than in adults, so the consequences of a stroke are usually smaller and milder. But of course, a stroke is just like the first domino knock – sometimes we fail to stop this cascade, especially if the source of the stroke is vasculitis, which can progress and must be stopped with drugs that cause many side effects – emphasized the neurologist.
The main symptom of covid infection are headaches – characteristic, very strong – as doctors call it “electrifying”. Patients with such a symptom report to the hospital emergency department and are examined neurologically, e.g. to exclude a ruptured aneurysm, which also happens in children.
– Other symptoms, often observed by neurologists, include spinal convulsions, which were induced by acute Sars-CoV-2 infection – explains Przysło.
She adds that many young patients experience pocovid peripheral inflammation of the facial nerve. Conversely, patients with epilepsy experience worsening of seizures.
Dr. Przysło points out that in adults, strokes are a common disease, in children – in the perspective of one year – there are over a dozen such cases in “Polish Mother”.
– You have to remember that our Institute is a specific hospital – we have cardiology and cardiosurgery here and our patients are children with heart defects. The most common cause of stroke in children is a leaky heart defect. However, in connection with COVID-19, we observe strokes arising from vasculitis – emphasizes the doctor.
Dr. Przysło emphasizes that from December 13 it will be possible to vaccinate children from the age of five and as a pediatrician, he strongly encourages parents to do so:
– Social responsibility in Poland is unsatisfactory; vaccination of society is very low. Meanwhile, in children, we see more and more health and life-threatening complications – noted the doctor.
Children are treated at the Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital – Research Institute
Main photo source: Shutterstock