During World Pediatric Stroke Awareness Week 2016 we are focusing on getting parents, EMS and doctors to recognize stroke in the young - as in children and babies.
Here we sit in 2016, we know pediatric stroke is real, yet so little awareness is out there among those who NEED to know.
In children, experts are finding that from the first symptom of stroke to the actual diagnosis it is taking too much time to be properly evaluated. The time, they are finding, is greater than 12 hours. In many cases, it is taking days, weeks or, even, months.
In contrast, with adults there is a rapid response protocol.
Everyone moves fast when they hear the word "stroke". However, it is often ruled out quickly in children, or overlooked, simply based on age without a pediatric neurologist's assessment.
When I use the world "pediatric" I mean it. A neurologist who specializes in pediatrics needs to examine a child who displays stroke symptoms, IMMEDIATELY. NOT hours later.
I hate to be blunt here, but if my grandmother were displaying symptoms of stroke she would be seen by a specialist IMMEDIATELY!
If my child were displaying symptoms of stroke a consult could be called, maybe, later.
The good news is WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE by knowing what the signs/symptoms are...be careful they aren't necessarily the same as in adults.
By saying the word STROKE when the child is en route to a hospital or at the front desk of the ER
it could mean a better outcome.
Now the tricky part, if a child is displaying symptoms of stroke he/she MUST be evaluated at a hospital that specializes in pediatrics with a neurologist in house, 24/7!
Preparedness can make a difference.
I already know what facility my child will be seen at if an emergency arises. I know because I prepared myself. We will bypass certain hospitals because I know where the specialists are located in my part of the world.
Here is great article for this very topic: http://www.emsworld.com/article/11128470/stroke-in-the-young