• The risk of stroke from birth to age 18 is nearly 11 per 100,000 children each year
• One half of the cases are due to blood vessel problems in the brain; one quarter are due to clots travelling from the heart; and for one quarter the cause is unknown
• 20% of children who have had a stoke are likely to have a recurring stroke
• A big challenge with new-borns is that they cannot communicate symptoms that are not readily visible
• Delayed or misdiagnosis in children is still common
• Of children surviving stroke, 50%- 80% will have permanent neurological deficits
• Other long term disabilities caused by a stroke occurring around the time of birth include sensory impairments, epilepsy, speech or communication disorders, visual disturbances, poor attention, behavioural problems and poor quality of life
• The burden of stroke in children is likely to be greater than in adults because children surviving stroke will have more years living with functional limitations and disability.
• One study found that the average cost of medical care in the first year is nearly US$43,000 and the subsequent health care needs of these children can last decades, even far into adulthood.
• Family and social impacts include but not limited to: altered family relationships and home life, lost income and productivity, and educational costs foe the need for special service and placement.
The key issues for children and their families include:
• Lack of awareness amongst the public and primary care doctors about childhood stroke
• Lack of understanding about the cause of stroke
• Delayed recognition of stroke in children
• Limited evidence about the best form of treatment to prevent further strokes
• Lack of support service for families or parents caring for children with a stroke
American Statistics and Dr Rakesh Patel (BhB, MBChB), Dip Paeds Auck, FRACP) Paediatric Neurologist based in Starship
©2017 Young Stroke Thrives Foundation