Australia's first clinical guidelines for children with stroke

Monday, 11 December 2017

Doctors from each of Australia’s tertiary paediatric hospitals and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute have led the development of Australia’s first ever clinical guidelines that will improve the diagnosis and acute management of children that suffer a stroke.

Dr Clair Pridmore, Paediatric Neurology Consultant at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, is one of 16 specialists who volunteered their time and expertise as part of the Australian Childhood Stroke Advisory Committee (ACSAC)  to ensure the important guidelines are of the highest international quality and can be implemented across the country.

Dr Pridmore said the guidelines, endorsed by The Stroke Foundation and the Australian and New Zealand Child Neurology Society, will speed up diagnosis when time is critical, to minimise brain injury and improve recovery.

“Approximately 300 babies and children are diagnosed with a stroke in Australia each year,” she said.

“More than half of the children that survive have long-term disabilities they carry for their lifetime at great cost to themselves, their families and the healthcare system.

“The guideline aims to facilitate better standards of care across Australian paediatric hospitals for childhood stroke, reduce the time to diagnose stroke and ensure all children are provided with the same high-quality evidence-based care.”

The Ian Potter Foundation funded the development of the guideline, which provides more than 60 recommendations to assist emergency staff and paediatricians in diagnosing and managing children with stroke upon arrival to hospital.   

Dr Pridmore said implementing a standardised approach to diagnosis and management will ensure children are not missing out on the advances that have transformed outcomes for adults.

“The guidelines include a quick reference guide for physicians and have helped us identify key research questions and develop a national collaborative network,” she said.

The full guidelines will be published in the International Journal of Stroke.

Available for interview:

Dr Clair Pridmore, Paediatric Neurology Consultant at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, South Australia  

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