Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Children suffering strokes not always properly diagnosed

Pennsylvania readers have all likely known about victims of strokes. What often is not discussed is that strokes are one of the leading causes of deaths among children.

Though most children are able to recover from a stroke, children will often suffer from lingering problems that came about because of the stroke for the remainder of their lives.

The great danger for children when a stroke is suffered is that the problem is not often immediately diagnosed. The typical delay in diagnosis is about 28 hours - a period of time when children should be receiving treatments and medications to help lessen the severity of the stroke.

What's worse is that the typical stroke in children occurs close to half of the times during a child's first year of life. "The first week of life is the highest risk in a child's whole life," said one pediatric neurologist. This is also a period of time when the child cannot vocalize what is wrong.

These strokes can be unexpected, though patients often exhibit symptoms. One active 15-year old complained of headaches, nausea and sensitivity to light, but doctors did not pick up on these symptoms. Even after beginning to suffer from a stroke, he was diagnosed with having a headache along with vertigo.

While not every medical condition can be easily determined, doctors cannot afford to make assumptions when such assumptions may lead to delay in preventing something far more serious than ever expected. Doctors are professionals and are expected to make determinations based upon actually data rather than upon guesses.

Attorneys will help patients recover for injuries as a result of a failure to diagnose, but this can never make up for the injuries that can be sustained.

Source: ABC News, "Pediatric Stroke Often Misdiagnosed, Treatment Delayed," by Susan Donaldson James, Feb. 11, 2013

  • Our Pittsburgh attorneys will represent individuals injured because of a doctor's delayed diagnosis.

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