The New York Times reports a fascinating story about a 7 year old boy, Jared, who one day was a healthy, happy, fully functioning boy and a few short days later was lying in a hospital bed unable to walk, virtually unable to speak and hooked to tubes and wires to support his life.
The theme of the story - Children Don’t Have Strokes? Just Ask Jared About His, at Age 7 – NYTimes.com – relates to a medically inaccurate concept – ‘children don’t have strokes.’
The author of the article, Jared’s father, has sage advice, based on accurate medical information:
How little we knew. It turns out that stroke, by some estimates, is the sixth leading cause of death in infants and children. And experts say doctors and hospitals need to be far more aggressive in detecting and treating it.
Dr. Rebecca N. Ichord, director of the pediatric stroke program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who continues to be deeply involved in Jared’s care, said that while conditions like migraines and poisoning could cause similar symptoms, “front-line providers need to have stroke on their radar screen as a possible cause of sudden neurologic illness in children.”
The sixth leading cause of death in infants and children and many in the medical profession believe that ‘children don’t have strokes’?! Maybe, just maybe, the article has some wisdom not only for parents – but perhaps also for the doctors treating these children.
The ‘Times’ article has a good link for a basic understanding of the signs and symptoms of stroke. Take a moment and familiarize yourself with these so that when you are told ‘children don’t have strokes’ – maybe you can ‘share’ the news that this is nonsense so that precious hours of needed care are not wasted!