Mini-Strokes Need to be Treated

Spring 2008 CSANews Issue 66  |  Posted date : May 24, 2008.Back to list

Mini-strokes lead to a major stroke within one week, in one out of 20 people, and should be treated as a medical emergency, British doctors recently reported.

Patients who are immediately treated for small strokes, called transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), had almost no risk of a major stroke soon afterward.  But people who did nothing about a TIA had an 11% risk of major stroke within one week.  TIAs are smaller versions of major strokes and cause similar symptoms such as dizziness, weakness of an arm or leg or visual disturbances.  The symptoms are usually mild and transient, so it's easy for people to ignore these episodes.

Recognizing a Stroke – S...T...R

Sometimes, symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms.

Now doctors say that a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions.  If you suspect that someone whom you are with may be suffering from a stroke, remember the S...T...R rule:
  • S - Ask the individual to SMILE.
  • T - Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today).
  • R - Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with any one of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.