The period following what is known as a transient ischemic stroke, or mini-stroke, can be a nerve-wracking time for both doctors and their patients. Many people who experience a mini-stroke also experience a full-blown stroke as well in the future.
Until recently, it was a challenge to predict who was at the greatest risk of having this happen. However, a team of researchers has now developed a system where the possibility of a follow-up stroke can be estimated with just one week of careful observation. Doctors just have to be aware of a few simple aspects of the patient’s health in order to qualify their risk of a second, more serious attack.
According to the new guidelines, doctors should look for blood pressure levels, the patient’s age, the length of time that the patient’s symptoms lasted for, and other aspects of the patient’s well being. Assessing patients in the week after their mini-stroke is essential according to the doctors of this study. Patients are most likely to have a second stroke within anywhere from a few days to a few weeks of the first attack.
However, if patients can visit a doctor sooner, then they can be monitored and treated in a way that will greatly reduce the likelihood of further damage from the stroke occurring. Patients also have a vital role to play in preventing a second stroke. If they experience the symptoms of a mini-stroke then it’s essential that they seek medical attention immediately. This will reduce any potential damage to the brain and also help patients prevent a recurrent stroke.
Here are the signs of a mini-stroke:
–A 30-minute or shorter period of changed brain function –If only half of the visual field is available in both eyes –Feelings of dizziness or faintness –Vertigo –Confusion or forgetfulness, sometimes related to words, names, or objects –Numbness of the body on one side –A brief loss of consciousness
Be sure to go to the hospital if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if you experience a loss of vision. The sooner you seek treatment the better your chances are of preventing permanent damage to your brain.