Getting Organized for the Kids

Rapid response to children’s stroke symptoms may speed diagnosis




An emergency room rapid response plan for children can help diagnose stroke symptoms quickly, a new study has found.

Some children’s hospitals already have rapid response processes for when a child comes in with stroke-like symptoms, but most hospitals do not, said Lori Jordan, M.D., Ph.D., the study’s senior author. A rapid response plan should include expedited evaluation and imaging or swift transfer to a medical center with pediatric stroke expertise, she said.

"We need the emergency department, radiology, critical care medicine and often many other specialists to work quickly and efficiently together to treat pediatric patients," said Jordan, an assistant professor of pediatrics and neurology at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville.

The study, published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, involved a review of data from Vanderbilt’s pediatric stroke program. Researchers established a "stroke alert" plan in the emergency room that requires a neurology resident to see a child with stroke symptoms within 15 minutes and for most children, quickly obtain an MRI.

During a three-year period, 124 children came in with stroke-like symptoms. One in four had experienced a stroke, while 2 percent had a TIA. The most common symptoms were weakness, altered mental status and headache.

Dr. Lori Jordan

Although uncommon, pediatric stroke is among the top 10 causes of death in children and more than half of survivors are significantly disabled, Jordan said.

In the new study, it took a median 28 minutes from emergency department arrival to neurology consultation, and seven minutes from consultation to neurologist at bedside. Most children received an MRI, which was done about an hour and a half after arrival. For children who had a CT scan, an hour elapsed between arrival and the scan.

"Rapid evaluation and appropriate testing is critical," said Jordan, who also is director of the Vanderbilt Pediatric Stroke Program. "Prior studies have suggested that stroke in children often takes a long time to diagnose due to delays in imaging."

One recent Canadian study found imaging was delayed nearly 13 hours for children with strokes.

A push by doctors to expand the use of rapid response plans for children began about a decade ago, Jordan said. "But more work is needed," she said.

"Know the symptoms of stroke and consider the possibility of a stroke no matter what a person’s age, and have your child rapidly evaluated," Jordan said.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

- Advertisement -

This link is provided for convenience only and is not an endorsement or recommendation of either the linked-to entity or any product or service.


 


 


 

Stroke Connection. Download the free app today.


 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Stroke Rehabilitation Two-Part Series

Making the Best Decisions at Discharge After Stroke

The type of rehabilitation and support systems a survivor receives at discharge can strongly influence health outcomes and recovery. In this, the first part of a two-part series on stroke rehab, we offer guidance for the decision-making process required when it’s time to leave the hospital.

What to Expect in Stroke Rehab

Following a stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type rehabilitation. In this second of our two-art series, we want to alleviate some of the mystery, fear and anxiety around the inpatient rehab part of the stroke recovery journey.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

AHA-ASA Resources

The Support Network

When faced with challenges recovering from heart disease or stroke, it’s important to have emotional support. That is why we created a network to connect patients and loved ones with others during their journey.

Stroke Family Warmline

The Warmline connects stroke survivors and their families with an ASA team member who can provide support, helpful information or just a listening ear.

Let's Talk About Stroke Patient Information Sheets

Let's Talk About Stroke is a series of downloadable patient information sheets, created by the American Stroke Association, that presents information in a question-and-answer format that's brief, easy to follow and easy to read.

Request Free Stroke Information Packets

Fill out this online form to request free information about a variety of post-stroke topics.

Caregiver Guide to Stroke

The Caregiver Guide to Stroke is meant to help caregivers better navigate the recovery process and the financial and social implications of a stroke.

Tips for Daily Living Library

This volunteer-powered library gathers tips and ideas from stroke survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals all over the country who’ve created or discovered adaptive and often innovative ways to get things done!

Stroke Support Group Finder

To find a group near you, simply enter your ZIP code and a mile radius. If your initial search does not pull up any groups, try
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Stroke & Parts of the Brain

When Stroke Affects the Temporal Lobe

The temporal lobe has several functions, mainly involved with memory, perception and language.

When Stroke Affects the Brain Stem

The brain stem serves as a bridge in the nervous system. It sits at the top of the spinal column in the center of the brain. When a stroke happens there, it can cause a few different deficits and, in the most severe cases, can lead to locked-in syndrome.

When Stroke Affects the Thalamus

The thalamus can be thought of as a "relay station," receiving signals from the brain’s outer regions (cerebral cortex), interpreting them, then sending them to other areas of the brain to complete their job.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Departments

Stroke Notes

Stroke-related news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.

Readers Room

Articles, poems and art submitted by stroke survivors and their loved ones.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These stroke survivors, caregivers and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Everyday Survival

Practical tips and advice for day-to day living after stroke.

Life At The Curb

A unique perspective on survival by comedian and stroke survivor John Kawie.

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.

Support Showcase

Our new department highlighting the good work being done by stroke support groups from around the nation. If you are part of a successful support group we should consider featuring, let us know!