Had Matthew Goodwin’s blood pressure been checked at age 3, when it should have been, he most likely would have been spared a medical emergency a year later. He spent two weeks in the pediatric intensive care unit while doctors tried to determine why his blood pressure had spiked off the charts following minor surgery.
Matthew turned out to have a congenital kidney disorder that caused severe hypertension and required surgeons to remove one of his kidneys and implant it in a new location, a procedure known as a kidney autotransplant. Now a 15-year-old honors student from Prairieville, La., Matthew takes pressure-lowering medication and adheres closely to a low-sodium diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables and no soft drinks.
Knowing his experience is not unique and that millions of young Americans with elevated blood pressure don’t know they have it, Matthew, who hopes to become a pediatric nephrologist, volunteers for the National Pediatric Blood Pressure Awareness Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group his mother, Celeste Goodwin, created to educate parents and professionals about the importance of regular blood pressure checks in children and adolescents.
Boosting this effort, in August the American Academy of Pediatrics published a 74-page report updating its guidelines for screening and managing high blood pressure in youngsters. The report includes a much-simplified chart to help practicing physicians readily determine whether a child’s blood pressure is within normal parameters.
Just as children’s blood pressure cannot be measured with a cuff meant for an adult-size arm, it also cannot be interpreted on an adult scale. In Detail Original Article Source