25. July 2012 14:49
NICE has published the first clinical guideline on how healthcare professionals should care for those aged under 19 who have spasticity.
Guidelines recommend referring patients to specialists without delay and considering continuous pump-administered intrathecal baclofen to tackle pain or muscle spasms.
The advice will improve the “mobility and comfort” of patients who have stiff muscles caused by neurological disorders, NICE said.
Around 24,000 people under the age of 19 are believed to have the condition in England and Wales. It is associated with non-progressive brain disorders, such as cerebral palsy.
Healthcare professionals are also advised to offer a management programme to patients that is individualised and goal-focused. Assistance to patients, parents and carers to develop and implement such programmes is also advised within the guideline.
Also, doctors are encouraged to perform the spinal operation selective dorsal rhizotomy in those whose condition causes them limited mobility.
Professor Mark Baker, Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE, hopes the new recommendations provide “greater comfort and independence” to youngsters with the condition.