Children can recover well from strokes when properly diagnosed

Strokes are often associated with adults and the elderly, but did you know that about 3,000 children suffer from strokes every single year?

Chicago doctors are well aware of the signs they are to look for in order to determine whether an adult patient has suffered a stroke, and doctors are also well aware of what needs to be done to prevent patients from suffering complications from strokes or subsequent strokes. However, doctors are not always aware of the signs they are to look for when treating a child who has had a stroke.

Since doctors don’t always consider that a child’s symptoms may be the result of a stroke, many pediatric strokes are not diagnosed as soon as they should be. The failure to diagnose a stroke and the failure to properly prevent or treat a stroke can result in devastating consequences.

A stroke occurs when the brain is cut off from its blood supply. A stroke may cause significant damage, but the damage may be even worse when children and adults do not receive appropriate medical treatment. Strokes may cause a variety of problems including:

  • Depression
  • Subsequent strokes
  • Paralysis
  • Impaired speech
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Death

Older adults don’t always recover well from strokes, even when they receive appropriate treatment. But when children suffer strokes and are diagnosed and treated right away, they have a very high chance of recovering 100 percent. Unfortunately, a report from ABC News claims that the average time it takes to diagnose a child who has had a stroke is 28 hours. Strokes are one of the top 10 causes of death in children in the U.S.

When children do survive strokes, the recovery process from a stroke may take months or years when a diagnosis is delayed. One doctor claims that medical treatment may cost more than $40,000 during the first year of recovery. This figure doesn’t even include a parent’s lost wages from taking time off of work to care for a child who has suffered a stroke.

Last April, one teen who had suffered a stroke was not diagnosed until 25 hours later. Had his stroke gone undiagnosed much longer, the teen could have died. It has been almost one year since he suffered the stroke and the teen is recovering. He is able to speak and move his limbs again. However, he has yet to make a full recovery. The teen still has problems balancing and has trouble with comprehension.

Source: ABC News, “Pediatric Stroke Often Misdiagnosed, Treatment Delayed,” Susan Donaldson James. Feb. 11, 2103

Failure to Diagnose


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