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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Could my 13-year-old daughter possible have had a TIA?

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    My 13 year old daughter complained late yesterday afternoon of a really bad headache and blurred vision with numbness in her arm. i gave her ibuprofen she then vomited not long after and said she felt better. this morning she woke saying it was even worse so i took her to my local emergency department. within 5 minutes of arriving she had a numb arm and the right side of her face was numb. she couldnt talk properly. they administered panadeine and sent her to wait for the doctor. the feeling in her face returned and we were called inthe nurse practitoner asked her questions and she wasn't able to answer them properly. she seemed confused and trying really hard to find the words. he diagnosed viral sinusitis and i am concerned that is not right
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    Thanks

    Brian Lee

    Physiotherapist

    I graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2004 and have worked in various healthcare settings, including primary care, private practice and community health services, ... View Profile

    All symptoms you mentioned (except numbness on face and speech) are common presentation of neck injury/discomfort, but as you know medically, nothing is definite, there may be some exception as there is an indircet connection between neck and face (nerve anatomy), hence possibly speech (though I've never seen one complaining of this in 12 yrs of my practice life, but you are the 2nd one mentioning about this on this site). 

    If she is generally healthy and active, ie no overweight, family history, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, choleterol..etc; then I wouldn't associate her symptoms with TIA (again, can't rule out completely, but quite unlikely).

    I would suggest that she sees a physio only to work gently on shoulder and neck, but do ask the physio not to do any dry needling, nothing that requires neck movement at extreme range, no hard pressure on neck, ie mobilization (in case if it's truely cardiovascular/TIA related) This is what I would do- safety first, and if those gentle work on neck and shoulder improve her other symptoms, then that would suggest more likelihood that her symptoms are neck related. So basically I'm using treatments to help confirm whether our hypothesis re neck referral is right or not. If my treatments only improve her a little, then my hypothesis will start to lean towards something else, hence refer back to GP with my findings.

    hope this helps

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