Ann Conkle
Feb 17, 2012

Are clot-busting drugs safe for kids with strokes?

In adults, clot-busting drugs can reduce disability if given within a few hours after a stroke. But few studies have looked at whether these drugs are safe for children. A new study used a national database to look at all children admitted to a hospital with a diagnosis of ischemic stroke from 1998 to 2009. Of the 9,367 children who were admitted with ischemic stroke, only 75 children received clot-busting drugs, also called thrombolytic therapy. Intracerebral hemorrhage is a risk of this therapy. The four percent rate of hemorrhage in the 75 kids who received thrombolytic therapy was higher than the 0.38 percent rate in kids who did not receive it, but it was similar to the rate in adults who receive thrombolytic therapy. Children who received thrombolytic therapy were no more likely to die following the stroke. “These findings provide evidence that clot-busting drugs can be safely used with children,” said study author Amer Alshekhlee of St. Louis University.