What prehospital management is used for suspected transient ischemic attack (TIA)?

Updated: Dec 03, 2018
  • Author: Ashish Nanda, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew K Chang, MD, MS  more...
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Rapid transport to hospital is essential to evaluate the patient who may have fleeting or stuttering symptoms. Fingerstick glucose testing can quickly rule out hypoglycemia. Intravenous (IV) access can be established, though transport should not be delayed for this. Collect all the patient’s prescription bottles.

The family or witnesses should be instructed to go to the emergency department (ED), or contact information for these individuals should be obtained. In some communities, emergency medical services (EMS) may preferentially transfer patients with high-risk stroke symptoms to centers with specific stroke expertise. [35]

Vital signs must be obtained promptly and addressed as indicated. Cardiac monitoring can capture a relevant dysrhythmia. Pulse oximetry can evaluate for hypoxia. IV access (if not already established by EMS) should be obtained. Obtain a fingerstick glucose level, and treat the patient accordingly.

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