What instructions should be given to patients following transient ischemic attack (TIA)?

Updated: Dec 03, 2018
  • Author: Ashish Nanda, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew K Chang, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Before being discharged from the hospital, patients who have been diagnosed with TIA must receive clear instruction to ensure that they understand the need for a complete and rapid workup through close follow-up care. Also essential for patients is education on stroke symptoms, the need to call emergency services immediately if any of these symptoms occur, and the contact number for emergency services (911 in the United States and Canada).

Despite program efforts in public education, many patients still do not seek medical attention after experiencing TIA symptoms. A 2010 population-based study found that 31% of all patients who experienced a recurrent stroke within 90 days of their first TIA or minor stroke had not sought medical attention after the initial event. [16]

Public health professionals and physicians need to do more, such as promoting and participating in medical screening fairs and public outreach programs. In addition, patients need to be educated about lifestyle modification and cardiovascular risk factors.

For patient education information, see the Stroke Center, as well as Transient Ischemic Attack (Mini-stroke).


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