March 07, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- When you think about the risk of stroke it's often associated with older adults and the elderly; however, according to the Cleveland Clinic thousands of children suffer from strokes every year. While the majority of children who suffer strokes live, many confront remaining cognitive impairment or neurological issues. Among the factors that reduce the risk of death or neurological issues resulting from a stroke is proper diagnosis, and the failure to recognize the symptoms of pediatric stroke may rise to the level of medical malpractice
Understanding what a stroke is
According to the Mayo Clinic, a stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and fuel. In a matter of minutes, brain cells begin to die causing damage.
There are two types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. An ischemic stroke occurs when brain arteries are blocked by a clot, and a hemorrhagic stroke occurs when brain arteries burst from trauma or malformation. Common risk factors of stroke include but are not limited to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. These risk factors are normally associated with adults; however, children can also experience strokes, but because being age 55 and older is itself a risk factor, doctors often overlook children suffering stroke and diagnose the symptoms as another condition.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, pediatric stroke is one of the top 10 causes of death among children, and as many as 3,000 children die every year from stroke. The majority of children who suffer strokes experience them before turning one, and the highest risk is during the late stages of pregnancy and during the early newborn period. In older children, around one third of strokes are associated with heart disease, but a stroke can also be set off from taking a hard hit in contact sports.
Because the symptoms of a stroke in an older child--headache, nausea and sensitivity to light--may be mistaken as another condition--such as the flu or a severe migraine--the ailment can be difficult to diagnose
. However, the difficulty in diagnosis can cause life-threatening delay. Quick medical treatment is crucial in the treatment of a stroke. The average delay in pediatric stroke cases is 28 hours. While the majority of children who suffer stroke live, around two-thirds of children have residual health issues, which can translate into high health care costs. According to ABC News, the cost of health care for a child disabled by stroke for the first year is around $42,000.
A delay in the treatment of pediatric stroke may rise to the level of medical malpractice if the doctor fails to deliver the same standard of care that a doctor with similar education and experience would provide in a similar circumstance. Fortunately, the use of a CT scan or an MRI have proved to be beneficial tools in quickly diagnosing pediatric strokes. However, if the use of such medical technology is not used proactively, a patient may quickly and unnecessarily suffer life-threatening symptoms.
To help the diagnosis of a family member or friend, the following are common symptoms of stroke:
- Trouble with walking
- Trouble with speaking and understanding
- Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg
- Trouble with seeing in one or both eyes
If you or a loved one have suffered from a suspected medical misdiagnosis or other medical mistake, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can review your case and help guide you on your path to recovery.
Article provided by Hartley Hampton, P.C.
Visit us at www.hartleyhamptonlaw.com---
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