INTERNATIONALIZATION. The American Heart Association has appointed a working group to develop guidelines for the care of people with stroke caused by cerebral hemorrhage in the United States. The group consists mainly of North American stroke experts, but Katharina Stibrant Sunnerhagen is one of a few Europeans asked to contribute to the guidelines.
The most common form of stroke is a cerebral infarction, which is caused by a blood clot. But in 15 percent of cases, a cerebral hemorrhage causes the stroke. Treatment in the acute stage differs between cerebral infarction and cerebral hemorrhage, and the working group will focus on guidelines for care after a cerebral hemorrhage.
Leading expert in stroke rehabilitation
Katarina Stibrant Sunnerhagen is a professor of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Gothenburg and a leading Swedish expert in stroke rehabilitation. She has previously been asked to contribute to guidelines both in Sweden and in Europe.
“We have begun work on the American guidelines. We have been assigned different areas, and one person has been given the task of being a sounding board. In the next step, we will now review the literature, evaluate it according to a template, and report back to the group.”
Stibrant Sunnerhagen is responsible for the entire area of rehabilitation. Two other European experts are also working with the US guidelines: Charlotte Cordonnier from France and Nikola Sprigg from the UK. In total, the group consists of about twenty people, and the other members come from the United States and Canada.
Show strength of evidence
The US guidelines are based on agreements within the American Heart Association’s working group. New for the guidelines now under development is that the strength of the evidence for the recommendations must be reported, which is in line with how both Swedish and European guidelines work.
“In Sweden, we also follow a priority order according to the ethics framework adopted by the Riksdag. This prioritization involves input from many people, ensuring it is supported within the organization. When we in Sweden do not find evidence, an assessment is made of the results by a large number of people, which also ensures a broad base of support. For the guidelines from the American Heart Association, this is done within the working group.”
Why do different countries need to have their own guidelines?
“That’s a good question. It would be advantageous if the countries had common guidelines, but since not everyone works according to the same scientific template or ethics framework, this is currently not possible.
The new guidelines will be ready by the summer, and according to the plan, they will be available in printed form in the spring of 2022. The guidelines will be published in a scientific journal and will have a large impact in the United States, but also in Central and South America.
TEXT: ELIN LINDSTRÖM