Thursday, October 01, 2009

Take warnings signs seriously

It's too easy to ignore a mini-stroke or transient ischemic attack - TIA - instead of acting and taking the event seriously.

After all, you get over it, with no lingering effect, right?

Wrong. A recent story, based on recent research, reporting that one in eight strokes are preceded by a TIA:

Mini-strokes, or TIAs, have the same symptoms as a full blown stroke, including sudden weakness, slurred speech and difficulty walking. The symptoms last only minutes or hours and since people recover within a day, many don't take them seriously.

But doctors say patients who suffer mini-strokes should seek immediate medical treatment, because intensive treatment can prevent a larger stroke.

For the study, researchers looked at 16,400 patients who went to Ontario hospitals after having a stroke over four years. Among the patients, 2,032, or 12.4 per cent, reported having the symptoms of a TIA prior to a major stroke.

This is a case where common sense prevails. Take action on a TIA, and you could avoid a deadly or severely damaging stroke. So take that action if you think you or someone you care about is having a TIA. Make sure you know the signs.

Get to an emergency room - or better still, a local stroke center if available - as soon as possible. Best bet: Call 911.

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