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Child strokes undiagnosed

1st July 2008

Researchers at Bristol University have said "up to five children a day" may suffer "undiagnosed" strokes in the UK

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The team are exploring what they have deemed to be a "striking lack of public and medical awareness" of strokes in children.

The Study of Childhood Stroke (SOCS) will be worked on by physiotherapists, radiologists and paediatric neurologists.

Researchers will be looking at children from the south of England who have suffered a stroke, to try and find out more about the condition's warning signs.

On average, a child will be taken to a nurse or doctor five hours and 30 minutes after they have shown symptoms of a stroke.

This can mean that treatment is often offered too late and children can die as a consequence.

Almost 1,500 children died from strokes between 1979 and 2000.

Dr Finbar O'Callaghan, from Bristol University, said: "Stroke in children is not as rare as many people may believe.

"One of the main reasons we don't know the exact number of children having strokes is that no national registration system exists as it does for childhood cancer."

He added that the majority of people were unaware that children could have strokes and there was a lack of funding as a result.

"The charitable income for childhood cancer was £224m versus £3m for childhood stroke," he said.



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