Swifter assessments could prevent strokes

Fewer people would need stroke rehabilitation if patients suffering so-called 'mini strokes' were assessed sooner by specialists, a study suggests.

Researchers at the University of Manchester found that nearly two thirds of patients attending clinics after a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), where one side of the face and the corresponding arm experiences temporary weakening, were not assessed for more than seven days.

A recent study at Oxford University found that one in 20 TIA patients go on to have a major stroke within a week, so the latest findings are concerning, experts claim.

"Current UK guidelines recommend that all people who have had a TIA should be assessed by a specialist within seven days of the start of symptoms," said Dr Craig Smith, a member of the University of Manchester's clinical neuroscience group.

"Our findings suggest that this standard is not being met and, in reality, TIA patients should ideally be assessed for risk of further stroke within a couple of days, if not on the same day as the initial symptoms."

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