New practice guidelines to recognise and treat some of the diseases children suffer has been regarded a vital step forward in reducing childhood stroke cases.
Developed by doctors from the Royal Children’s Hospital and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute the guidelines released on 7 December aim to improve diagnosis and acute management for patients.
Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan welcomes the guidelines and said there was a common misconception about strokes which can have long term effects.
“Stroke can impact anyone at any time, in Australia there are between 200 and 300 childhood strokes per year,’’ Ms McGowan says.
“For a childhood stroke survivor and their families, the impact of stroke can literally last a lifetime.’’
The guidelines includes more than 60 recommendations to assist emergency staff and paediatricians in diagnosing and managing children with stroke upon arrival to hospital.
They will aim to reduce the time taken for stroke diagnosis and ensure all children access the same high quality evidence-based care across the country.
Ms McGowan says the new childrens guidelines are built on the 2017 National Guidelines for Stroke Management released by the Stroke Foundation in September.
“Stroke is no longer a death sentence for many, with the right treatment at the right time many people are able to recover from stroke,” she says.
“We now know what best practice care looks like, the challenge now is ensuring all Australians have access to it.”
She also encourages every Australian household to act and think ‘FAST’ during a possible stroke.
FAST stands for:
Face – Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
Arms – Can they lift both arms?
Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
Time – Time is critical. If you see any of these signs, call 000 straight away.