Strokes are a top-10 cause of death for children in the U.S., and approximately 3,000 children will suffer a stroke during 2013. The threat is substantial, but most children don't receive appropriate medical treatment in the critical minutes and hours after their stroke.
Upon arrival at the hospital, young stroke victims often experience a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. The average delay in pediatric stroke diagnosis is 28 hours, a period that can be the difference between life and death or full recovery and lifelong disability.
So, why aren't doctors considering pediatric strokes earlier in their diagnostic assessments? Unfortunately, there's no good reason. While society has a misconception that strokes only affect the elderly, doctors have no excuse for not considering a stroke as the cause of their young patients' symptoms.
There are a few statistics that may be helpful to parents:
- Boys suffer strokes more often than girls.
- African-American children are more likely to suffer a stroke, and this is compounded when the child has sickle cell anemia.
- Forty to 50 percent of pediatric strokes occur during the child's first year of life.
If your child has suffered a delayed stroke diagnosis, an experienced Michigan stroke misdiagnosis lawyer can help your family assess its legal options for recovering damages.
McKeen & Associates, PC, is a Detroit law firm that represents medical malpractice victims throughout the country who have been seriously harmed.
Source: ABC News, "Pediatric Stroke Often Misdiagnosed, Treatment Delayed," Susan Donaldson James, Feb. 11, 2013