Up to five children a day in the UK are suffering from undiagnosed strokes, new research suggests.
Experts from Bristol University are studying what they say is a “striking lack of public and medicalawareness” of childhood strokes. This condition is thought to be as common as some cancers.
The average time between the onset of symptoms to presentation to a medical professional, for children suffering a stroke, is five-and-a-half hours. This means many young stroke sufferers do not benefit from life-saving treatments because they are are diagnosed too late. Stroke was given as the cause of death for nearly 1,500 children between 1979 and 2000.
Strokes in Infants and Children – Statistics
People seldom associate stroke with infants and children, but 12 percent of pediatric age deaths are caused by strokes. Fortunately the occurrence of strokes in children is relatively low. Approximately six in every 100,000 children per year will have a stroke, about one-third of these are in newborns. The signs of a stroke are often not recognized, especially in children. On average it takes 48 to 72 hours after the onset of symptoms before children are taken to the hospital.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS):
In Newborns, strokes occur at the rate of 1 in 5000
In Children, strokes occur at the rate of 3 in 100,000
Stroke is one of the top ten causes of death in children
10 percent of children who have a stroke will die each year
20 to 35 percent of infant stroke survivors will have another stroke
Two-thirds of survivors will have neurological deficits or seizures
About Daisy Pritchard
Daisy was diagnosed with a life threatening heart defect at 20 months old. She suffered a stroke after surgery, which went mis-diagnosed for several days. Daisy was sent home diagnosed with shock just a week after surgery even though she had spent almost 4 days on life support machine. The hospital diagnosed shock when infact she had suffered from a stroke. Daisy now has extensive brain damage, but she has worked hard to get better. She still has limited movement on her right side but now is trying to work harder to get better. The surgery alone could have killed Daisy and almost did, the fact that she survived a massive stroke shows how special and brave she is.
Childhood strokes often go mis-diagnosed and you dont always end up with a survivor like Daisy. We have asked the Labour government to explain why they choose not disclose the fact that children have strokes, they have so far declined to answer. The opposition party brought up this very fact about Childhood Strokes in the House of Lords in March 2010.
We want to raise awareness of childhood strokes across the world! Unfortunatley they sadly do happen! The quicker the intervention and the more likely you are to survive. Daisy was a lucky one. Sadly it is usually the case that a stroke is seen as the end, We want to prove it is not. She was let down over support, but we wont stand by and watch it happen to others children who have strokes. Together we will be heard!.Please help us raise awareness and help save lives.
There are no designated Stroke Charities to help children. The 2 biggest charities, Stroke Association and Different Strokes have not given us any support and that is sadly the case for many stroke families with child survivors.
For Daisy’s sake and for all our sakes, let’s support one another in not having to know all the answers before we start. We dont want to scare people, but remember not knowing will not make you immune.Knowing will give you the chance to survive.Learn the signs.
Some Information about Strokes
A Stroke (also called brain attack) occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. Disruption in blood flow is caused when either a blood clot or piece of plaque blocks one of the vital blood vessels in the brain (ischemic stroke), or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, thus spilling blood into surrounding tissues (hemorrhagic stroke). The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to function. Even a brief interruption in blood supply can cause problems. Brain cells begin to die after just a few minutes without blood or oxygen. The area of dead cells in tissues is called an infarct. Due to both the physical and chemical changes that occur in the brain with stroke, damage can continue to occur for several days. This is called a stroke-in-evolution. A loss of brain function occurs with brain cell death. This may include impaired ability with movement, speech, thinking and memory, bowel and bladder, eating,emotional control, and other vital body functions. Recovery from stroke and the specific ability affected depends on the size and location of the stroke. A small stroke may result in only minor problems such as weakness in an arm or leg. Larger strokes may causeparalysis (inability to move part of the body), loss of speech, or even death.
STROKES CAN GET MIS DIAGNOSED, LEARN THE SIGNS.
Respond to the following symptoms by calling the Emergancy Services. First you must recognize the symptoms, an easy way to remember is to Spell out F.A.S.T. This was developed by leading stroke physicians and is used by emergency services to help them decect the signs.
These are the following symptoms:
Has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
Can they raise both arms and keep them there?
Is their speech slurred?
Time to call 999
If you see any single one of these signs then you must act fast and call the emergency services ! If the person has failed any of these tests, dial 999 for an ambulance immediately so they can be taken to hospital for urgent treatment. Paramedics and ambulance staff are trained to assess patients with suspected stroke and get them to hospital quickly! The quicker the treatment is started, the more of the person you save !