The National clinical guidelines for stroke and the National sentinel audit together have led to significant improvements in stroke care for adults. Stroke occurring in childhood, although less common, presents serious challenges, which if not well managed are likely to lead to life-long problems. The Stroke in childhood guidelines (published November 2004) are based on the expertise of a multidisciplinary working group and include the views of patients, parents and families. They are designed to bring consistency to the standards of care and rehabilitation for childhood stroke which hitherto has been lacking. The guidelines are mainly consensus based and point to areas where further research and guidance is needed.
The topics covered in the guidelines will make them essential reading for those working in a wide range of disciplines, including primary care, secondary level acute and community paediatrics, tertiary level paediatric neurology and neurodisability, education and the social services.
The guidelines are accompanied by a booklet for parents and families of children affected by stroke. It will help them to understand what a stroke is, how children should be treated and cared for and where to go for further information and advice.