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Childhood stroke

Paediatric stroke

HCA UK offers urgent treatment for childhood strokes and a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation programme to help recovery

About

A stroke can occur in children as young as 29-days-old. As with adults, a childhood stroke will either be caused by a blockage in the blood supply to the brain (ischaemic) or when the blood leaks from a burst blood vessel to the brain (haemorrhagic).

Need to know

  • Symptoms of childhood stroke icon plus

    Strokes in children are often caused by existing conditions such as congenital heart disease or sickle cell. In babies, they may be caused when blood clots from the placenta lodge in the brain. Signs of a ischaemic stroke include:

    • sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
    • facial drooping
    • speech problems
    • headaches

    Signs of haemorrhagic stroke include:

    • vomiting
    • seizures
    • occasional headaches

    If your child displays these symptoms, it's a medical emergency. Dial 999 immediately. It can be harder to spot symptoms when the stroke happened before or around birth, but there may be delayed development or trouble moving one side of the body.

  • Diagnosis icon plus

    A consultant paediatric neurologist will examine your child immediately. They will most likely send your child for ab MRI or CT scan to confirm they've had a stroke. Both scans display the affected area of the brain, as well as the blood vessels. This should take around an hour. If your consultant is worried that your child is losing consciousness, a neurosurgeon may operate immediately to relieve pressure on the brain. Your child may also be given heart exams, such as an echocardiogram or angiogram. This would display a burst vessel or a tear or blockage in a blood vessel leading to the brain. Your consultant may also use blood tests to find underlying causes.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    If a child's stroke has been caused by a blood clot (ischaemic), they may receive blood-thinning medicine to prevent it from happening again. When the child is well enough, a team of neurorehabilitation specialists will help your child adapt to the lasting effects of a stroke. They include: a physiotherapist to help with movement; an occupational therapist to help cope with day-to-day tasks; a speech and language therapist to help with speech; a psychologist to help the child deal with the psychological effects of the stroke and improve cognitive skills. Our dedicated multidisciplinary team will help the child for as long as they are needed.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • facility-HSC-flag-hero-582x582

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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