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Childhood stroke clinical guidelines


In children, stroke is among the top ten causes of death, is more common than brain tumours and is the leading cause of hemiplegic cerebral palsy in term-born infants. Like adults ‘time is brain’ for children who suffer a stroke. More than half of survivors have long-term disabilities, resulting in a need for high-quality, specialist sub-acute medical and rehabilitation services. Contrary to commonly held views, children do not recover better than adults.

Diagnosis and acute management

The Guideline for the diagnosis and acute management of childhood stroke – 2017 was developed by the Australian Childhood Stroke Advisory Committee (ACSAC), comprising Australia’s leading clinical experts, scientists and guideline developers, representing all of Australia’s leading tertiary paediatric centres. It includes more than 60 recommendations to help emergency staff and paediatricians in diagnosing and managing children with stroke upon arrival to hospital.

The Diagnosis and Acute Management of Childhood Stroke, Clinical Guideline 2017 (PDF)

Subacute rehabilitation

The Guideline for the subacute management of childhood stroke – 2019 was developed by the Victorian Subacute Childhood Stroke Advisory Committee, comprising clinical and research experts representing the Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service, tertiary paediatric hospitals and researchers in Victoria. It is aimed at hospital and community-based healthcare professionals involved in the rehabilitative management of children after stroke, including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, education consultants, clinical psychologists, clinical neuropsychologists, speech pathologists, social workers, dietitians, music therapists, doctors, and nurses.

The Subacute Rehabilitation of Childhood Stroke, Clinical Guideline 2019 (PDF)

Victorian Subacute Childhood Stroke Guidelines Appendices (PDF)