Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis for a Child
Diagnosing and Treating Strokes in Children
Lack of general awareness of strokes in children often results in a delay in medical attention for children with strokes. It is not unusual, for example, for children who have had a stroke to be brought to a physician several days after the onset of symptoms. In contrast, family members are usually well aware of the significance of an acute stroke in older individuals, and these patients are typically seen by a physician earlier than children with a similar lesion.
Diagnosing a stroke in children is similar to diagnosing a stroke in adults (see Diagnosing Stroke for more information).
Treatment of a stroke in a child is similar to stroke treatment that adults receive. In fact, many of the procedures increasingly used in children with strokes have been adapted from studies of adults with strokes. Also, as part of treating a stroke in children, it's important to identify the underlying conditions that led to the stroke and manage them to help prevent future strokes.
(Click Stroke Treatment for more information on different treatment options for a stroke).
The Prognosis for Children Who Have Strokes
Most children who experience a stroke will fare better than most adults after treatment and rehabilitation. This is due in part to the immature brain's great plasticity and the ability to adapt to deficits and injury. However, children who experience seizures along with stroke do not recover as well as children who do not have seizures. Some children may experience residual hemiplegia, though most will eventually learn how to walk.