This site is intended for health professionals only

New guidance on childhood illnesses

New guidance on how to treat young people who have survived childhood illness is due to be issued to doctors in Scotland.

Due to advances in medicine, the number of children successfully fighting cancer has risen, while the life expectancy for cystic fibrosis sufferers has also increased significantly.

Doctors will receive new guidelines from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) on treating the long-term effects of the conditions as patients reach adulthood.

According to the RCPE, Think Transition is designed to bridge the gap between paediatric and adult health care.

Professor Chris Kelnar, Chair of the body's transition medicine steering group, said: "The new guidance will enable adult physicians to better understand the medical needs of young adults with chronic diseases and for whom childhood disease or medical treatment may have given rise to longer-term complications in adulthood."

The RCPE said there are more than 2,500 survivors of childhood cancer in Scotland, while about 95% of young cystic fibrosis sufferers now survive their 25th birthday, with many living well into their 30s.

The guidance, which makes recommendations on "transition care", says the effects of illness on young people's education and employment opportunities should be addressed as well as their health.

Copyright © Press Association 2008

Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh