Background: Childhood stroke is rare, and diagnosis is frequently delayed. The use of pediatric stroke teams has the potential to decrease time to neurology evaluation and imaging, hastening appropriate diagnosis and treatment for acute neurologic presentations in children. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of our institutional pediatric stroke or “brain attack” team (pedsBAT) activations from October 2014 to July 2017. Clinical characteristics and timing parameters were compared between pedsBAT activations in the inpatient vs emergency department (ED) / outpatient settings as well as between pediatric and adult BAT activations in the same time period. Results: We identified 120 pedsBAT activations (75% in the ED/outpatient setting) during the study time period. Inpatient pedsBAT activations were more likely than outpatient activations to have heart disease as a risk factor for ischemic stroke and presented more frequently with altered mental status, but there were no differences in the proportion of cerebrovascular diagnoses or timing parameters between the 2 groups. When compared with adult BAT activations, outpatient pedsBAT activations had a longer time from symptom discovery to arrival at the ED, and inpatient pedsBAT activations had longer time from symptom discovery to BAT activation. Conclusions: Compared with adults, the interval leading up to stroke team activation was longer in children, suggesting delays in symptom recognition. Future interventions should be aimed at reducing these delays in presentation to care and stroke alert activation in pediatric patients.
- Systems of Care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology