Abstract T P360: Pediatric Acute Stroke Protocol Activation in a Children’s Hospital Emergency Department
Introduction: Many children’s hospitals, including ours, have instituted acute stroke protocols, with a pediatric acute stroke team that is alerted and responds urgently for children with acute brain attacks. The purpose of this study was to characterize the final diagnoses of children with brain attacks in the emergency department where the acute stroke protocol was activated.
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that less than half of pediatric brain attacks would have a confirmed diagnosis of acute stroke.
Methods: Clinical and demographic information were obtained from a quality improvement database and medical records for consecutive patients (age 0-20 y) presenting to a single institution’s pediatric emergency department where the acute stroke protocol was activated between April 2011 and December 2013. Activation of this protocol means that a neurology resident sees the child within 15 minutes and acute MRI is available. All values were assessed with descriptive statistics.
Results: There were 100 cases of brain attack (mean age 11.3 y, SD 5.1 y, 55% male); 25 were confirmed strokes (Figure) and 3 children had a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Nine (36%) children with stroke were previously healthy. There were 17 (68%) ischemic strokes, 7 (28%) hemorrhages, and 1 (4%) sinovenous thrombosis. Non-stroke neurological emergencies were found in 13% of patients; the majority were meningitis (n=5) or neoplasm (n=3). Complex migraine was present in 17% and seizure in 12%. All children had urgent neuroimaging. MRI was the first study in 70%.
Conclusion: Of pediatric brain attacks, 25% were stroke, 3% were TIA, and 13% were other neurological emergencies. Clinicians evaluating a child for possible acute stroke should consider these frequencies in their differential diagnosis. There are many stroke mimics, some life-threatening, underscoring the need for prompt evaluation and management of children with brain attacks.
Author Disclosures: T.R. Ladner: None. J. Mahdi: None. Z.L. Harris: None. K. Crossman: None. T. Abramo: None. L.C. Jordan: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.