Australian research finds stroke is major killer of children

17:04, November 13, 2009      

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An Australian doctor on Friday warned of the dangers of overlooking stroke in children admitted to hospital emergency departments.

Dr Adriana Yock-Corrales from the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne said her research had shown stroke ranks among the top ten causes of death in children.

Yock-Corrales, along with colleagues from the hospital and also the National Stroke Research Institute, reviewed the cases of 49 children treated for stroke at the pediatric emergency department from 2003-2008.

She noted stroke was often not immediately suspected in children, and this could lead to delays in diagnosing and managing the condition in hospitals.

Yock-Corrales said there were no validated guidelines to help health professionals recognize the "brain attack" symptoms of stroke in children.

The average age of the stroke victims in the study was just over seven years and almost 60 percent had previously been in good health.

Sudden onset of symptoms, including an inability to focus, headache and slurred speech, were reported in more than 80 percent of cases.

The research will help hospitals develop standard identification and treatment of stroke in children.

Source: Xinhua
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