Many stroke patients experience delays in seeking and receiving care

Micrograph showing cortical pseudolaminar necrosis, a finding seen in strokes on medical imaging and at autopsy. H&E-LFB stain. Credit: Nephron/Wikipedia

A new study reveals that many patients are not aware that they are having a stroke when they are experiencing symptoms.

The study included 150 with a confirmed transient ischaemic attack or who presented to a clinic in England during a 5-month interval in 2014. Overall 92 (61.3 per cent) of the patients had a delay in presenting to . Eighty-eight patients (58.7 per cent) did not think they were having a stroke and 54 (36.0 per cent) were unaware of a public campaign that was launched in the UK in 2009 to raise awareness of and highlight the importance of urgent medical care. The campaign's acronym FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Time) includes the common presenting features of weakness and dysphasia.

Importantly, nearly one-third of patients in this study presented with eye symptoms. Therefore, inclusion of eye symptoms and reaffirmation of the need to react might avoid unnecessary delays. "FASTER—Face, Arm, Speech, Time, Eyes, React—may be a better acronym for the public campaign," said Prof. Ashok Handa, senior author of the British Journal of Surgery study.

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More information: K. Hurst et al, Delays in the presentation to stroke services of patients with transient ischaemic attack and minor stroke, British Journal of Surgery (2016). DOI: 10.1002/bjs.10199
Journal information: British Journal of Surgery

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Citation: Many stroke patients experience delays in seeking and receiving care (2016, August 22) retrieved 11 November 2019 from
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