The Stroke Association has warned that people who ignore the signs of a mini-stroke or a TIA (Transient Ischaemice Attack) are running up a greater risk of suffering from a major stroke.
A mini-stroke will cause very similar symptoms to a stroke, such as speech and mobility problems, however the symptoms will only last a few minutes.
A survey conducted of TIA patients found more than 1 in 3 dismissed their symptoms as just a “funny turn”. If these symptoms were acted upon early enough then approximately 10,000 strokes could be prevented if TIAs were treated, said the charity.
Each year about 46,000 people in the UK suffer from a TIA for the first time.
One in 20 people will have a major stroke within two days of a mini-stroke and this figure rises to one in 12 within a week of a TIA.
The Stroke Association’s survey of 670 people who had had a mini-stroke found:
37% had thought it was a “funny turn”
22% rang 999
47% said the symptoms had not felt like an emergency
20% went on to have a major stroke
In 2009, the Department of Health launched the Stroke – Act Fast (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) campaign. The campaign aims to boost awareness of symptoms of stroke and TIA.
The NHS in England subsequently saw a 25% rise in stroke-related 999 calls and a 19% rise in stroke patients being seen quicker.
The symptoms usually come on suddenly
Mini-stroke symptoms are the same as for stroke but last no longer than 24 hours
The Fast test can help identify a stroke or mini-stroke
The Fast test
Facial weakness – Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
Arm weakness – Can the person raise both arms?
Speech problems – Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
Time to call 999 – If you see any one of these signs, seek immediate medical attention.