Stroke Program

The Pediatric Stroke Program at All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine (ACH JHM) in St. Petersburg combines the expertise of All Children's Hospital and the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore to help children who have developed a stroke.

A stroke is an injury to the brain caused by reduced or blocked flow in an artery supplying oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Sometimes a stroke is due to a clot in the arteries of the brain (cerebral arteries) or neck (carotid arteries).

Need more information about the Pediatric Stroke Program at All Children's Hospital? Call 727-767-8181.

Many families and even some physicians are not aware that the period around the time of birth is one of the most common times to suffer a stroke, making stroke in newborns the most typical form of pediatric stroke. Stroke in older children is rarer, but it remains an important risk in children with congenital heart disease, some types of cancer, certain inherited blood clotting disorders, and other conditions. The Pediatric Stroke Program at All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine not only provides world-class clinical care, but also gives patients and families access to the latest research developments and the newest therapies.

The Pediatric Stroke Program is co-directed by Dr. Peter Huszar (Pediatric Stroke Neurologist) and  Dr. Neil Goldenberg (Pediatric Hematologist), along with Dr. Dennis Hart (Pediatric Rehabilitation physician) and the Director of Pediatric Stroke Program at the Children's Center at Johns Hopkins University as key collaborators. Dr. Goldenberg has special expertise in pediatric stroke. He is an international leader in pediatric stroke and was recruited by All Children's Hospital and Johns Hopkins University in 2012 from Children's Hospital Colorado, where he founded and co-directed one of the top pediatric stroke programs in the U.S.

The ACH program provides a variety of services for pediatric stroke patients and their families in a comprehensive, multidisciplinary setting. It extends from the All Children's Hospital Emergency Center, where a Pediatric Stroke Alert system led by pediatric emergency medicine specialist Dr. Wassam Rahman, inpatient care in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and or on the Pediatric Medicine unit, to outpatient care and consultation, including rehab services.

The outpatient Pediatric Stroke Clinic is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary clinic involving a team of care providers devoted to stroke in children, including a neurologist, hematologist, rehab physician, pharmacist and nurse. Additional services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, are coordinated via the clinic. In addition, if the patient has an underlying medical problem or condition, a physician from the All Children's pediatric cardiology or pediatric neurosurgery program may also join the clinic team to address the patient's specific needs.

Why choose the Pediatric Stroke Program at All Children's Hospital?

Our pediatric stroke doctors have devoted their careers to caring for children who experience a blood clot and strive to provide the best possible outcomes for their patients.

Because stroke in children is very rare-and very complex--few physicians have extensive experience in treating this problem and preventing the possible short-term and long-term complications. These may include: bleeding complications if the patient is given aspirin or blood thinners; the development of second strokes; neurological impairments (such as weakness, difficulty walking, incoordination, problems speaking); school difficulties; depression; and seizures as a result of damage to brain tissue from a stroke.

Dr. Huszar and Dr. Goldenberg have a combined experience of managing over 200 pediatric stroke patients in the past 10 years. This experience, combined with their involvement in the latest national/international guidelines and clinical research studies, enables them to determine soon after the onset of stroke whether a child is at high versus low risk for many of the potential long-term complications described above. They develop an individualized treatment and follow-up plan designed to achieve the best outcomes for each infant, child and teen.

Why is a multidisciplinary team of experts so important in the care of children with stroke?

Optimal care of children with stroke typically requires expertise not only from pediatric neurologists and hematologists who specializes in stroke, but from a variety of other pediatric specialists, including pediatric emergency department physicians, radiologists, anesthesiologists, intensive care physicians, pharmacists, clinical laboratory specialists, and stroke rehabilitation specialists. The Pediatric Stroke Program at All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine provides family-centered, comprehensive and coordinated care for infants, children and teens who suffer a stroke. Thanks to the team's expertise and coordinated approach to care, children who suffer a stroke will receive treatment and follow-up care aimed at minimizing long-term complications and achieving the best possible outcomes.

Need more information about the Pediatric Stroke Program at All Children's Hospital? Call 727-767-8181.