This survey shows that too many people write off TIA symptoms as ‘just a funny turn’ and are unaware of the need to seek urgent medical attention, which can
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4Foreword 5Chapter 1 TIA: the basics 6Anthony: ‚I™d never heard of TIA™ 8Chapter 2 Spotting symptoms and taking action The reasons people do, and do not, seek help 10Simon: ‚There should be more information on TIA™ 14 Chapter 3 Health and care professionals and TIA Addressing inequalities in services and care 16Susan: ‚My stroke should never have happened™ 20Chapter 4 Information, advice and support after TIA What is needed to help people make their best recovery 22Janet: ‚No one explained TIA™ 26Chapter 5 Long-term impact 28Peter: ‚I had severe panic attacks™ 30Chapter 6 A wake-up call Œ life after TIA Lifestyle support and missed opportunities 32Margaret: ‚I feel much healthier now™ 34Our calls to action 36Acknowledgements 38Stroke Association 3

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4Not just a funny turn UK-wide survey of 670 people who have experienced a TIA or transient ischaemic attack (also known as breakdowns can be found at Purpose Its aim was to capture the experiences of people who have had a TIA, the treatment and care they Method The survey, which ran from October to December 2013, was conducted both online questions about symptoms; the action people took following their TIA; the treatment, information and support they received from

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Stroke Association 5Not just a funny turn is based on the experiences of 670 people who have experienced a TIA or transient ischaemic attack (also known as a A TIA is a warning sign that a person is at risk of a a week more than one in 12 people who have had a TIA go on to have a stroke 1 the symptoms early and having swift access to specialist services, thousands of people a year This survey shows that too many people write unaware of the need to seek urgent medical Although most people believed their symptoms were taken seriously, a third felt that health and care professionals were too quick to dismiss TIA, and a In some cases, people felt that this had contributed what they believe to be the long-term impact of They also told us about the emotional impact in adjusting to the unexpected changes that have come about and must not be left to cope Some people viewed their TIA as a wake-up call apart from being prescribed medication, most We are launching this campaign in order to prevent more people from going on to have a stroke after work in health, social care or research, in hospitals, care homes or the community, we hope you will join us in ensuring that people who have a TIA are supported and helped to make their best Jon Barrick Chief Executive Stroke Association unaware of the link between TIA and stroke and are not getting 1 Population based study of early risk of stroke after transient ischaemic attack or minor stroke: implications for public education and organisation of services,

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6Not just a funny turn A TIA or transient ischaemic attack (also known as a mini-stroke) is the same as a stroke, except that the symptoms last for a short amount of time and it either dissolves on its own or moves, so that the blood supply returns to normal and 1 and although the symptoms More than one in 12 people will have a stroke within a week of having a TIA 2Stroke is the third single largest cause of death in the UK, accounting for around one in 10 deaths 3 the UK 4 5Key messages for the general public There is no way to tell whether a person is having person gets access to specialist assessment, investigation and treatment, the more likely they If you, or someone else, show any of the signs of stroke, you must call 999. Research has suggested that approximately 10,000 strokes could be prevented every year in the UK if all TIAs and minor strokes were treated urgently 6The symptoms of TIA often pass very quickly so mistake them for tiredness, migraine or just a investigation and treatment is still important even if the symptoms have stopped as it can reduce the risk of a person having another TIA or stroke, If you think you have had a TIA and have not sought medical attention, see your GP urgently. Urgently investigating and treating people who have a TIA or minor stroke could reduce their risk of having another stroke by 80% 6The symptoms of TIA are often short and can easily be mistaken for tiredness or other conditions, delaying or even stopping people 11 Stroke statistics, 2 Population based study of early risk of stroke after transient ischaemic attack or minor stroke: implications for public education and organisation of services, 3 Deaths Registered in England and Wales in 2010 by cause 4 Is Stroke the Most Common Cause of Disability? Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases 5 Clinical audit second pilot report prepared on behalf of the 6 attack and minor stroke on early recurrent stroke (EXPRESS study): a prospective population-based sequential comparison

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8Not just a funny turn When his left arm and leg went weak one evening in October 2013, Anthony, 62, thought it was his old sciatic nerve fiI have occasional problems due to a prolapsed disc at the base of my spine so like an emergency but the next morning, Zena, called 111 (an NHS non-emergency explained that it was connected to stroke any of the facial drooping or slurred speech After arriving at hospital, Anthony saw a specialist who sent him for tests, which fiSix weeks later, I had a check-up at the Anthony was given written information on TIA and how it increases risk of stroke, plus advice on diet and lifestyle, including result, he has now joined a weekly exercise class and has made several improvements fiMy left arm and leg are still slightly weak, Anthony feels that there should be more heard of TIA and it makes you wonder how many people may have had one without realising it, unaware that they are at TIA™ fiIt makes you wonder how many people have had a TIA without

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10Not just a funny turn Raising public awareness of stroke symptoms and the need for an emergency response has been the Such campaigns have promoted awareness of the and health professionals to quickly identify potential poll 1 of more than 2,000 members of the public found a very poor awareness of TIA, its symptoms Not just a funny turn their awareness of TIA had been low before they 27% had heard of it but did not know a lot about it 61% did not know that a TIA is a warning sign Subsequently, half of respondents said that when symptoms for a range of other conditions, including problems with their eyes, a migraine or a trapped People told us: fiI was worried about the symptoms plus fiHad a funny turn for a few minutes on Despite campaigns, public awareness of TIA is low, which means 2 Stroke: ActFAST campaign, which has aired on TV most successful public awareness campaigns, and symptoms of stroke and prompting people should anyone display a stroke symptom 2 Successful stroke campaign

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Stroke Association 11 1 2 Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy, Department of Health (2013) Delayed response This lack of awareness of TIA, along with a range of other factors, appears to have delayed people seeking medical attention, either while they were Although most people reported taking action while they were experiencing TIA symptoms, said that their symptoms lasted for fewer than 10 minutes, meaning there was a very short window described their symptoms as lasting for hours, with some delaying seeking medical attention for up to the time taken to seek medical attention was even As many as 14% of people reported taking no action symptoms on a number of occasions before they following a stroke that they realised they had Why people did not seek help a quarter of people had experienced the symptoms About 10% of people said that they delayed taking attention as they felt there was nothing that the NHS could do to help people who were having a Despite public awareness campaigns playing a part in some people recognising their symptoms, help because they were not experiencing all of the fiNever had the facial symptoms that people look out for and never lost the Some people felt that awareness campaigns around stroke should also include more fiI feel most people, including myself, have never heard of TIA before and surely seems a stroke is publicised well on TV as being potentially related to TIA or stroke, many said that they were in denial about what a TIA very stupidly, but in the back of my

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