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Knowledge of signs, treatment and need for urgent management in patients presenting with an acute ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack: a prospective study
  1. L G Stead1,
  2. L Vaidyanathan1,
  3. M F Bellolio1,
  4. R Kashyap1,
  5. A Bhagra1,
  6. R M Gilmore1,
  7. W W Decker1,
  8. S Enduri1,
  9. S Suravaram1,
  10. S Mishra1,
  11. D Nash1,
  12. H M Wood1,
  13. A S Yassa1,
  14. A M Hoff1,
  15. R D Brown2
  1. 1
    Department of Emergency Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2
    Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  1. Dr L G Stead, Mayo Clinic, Generose G410, 200 First Street, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; stead.latha{at}


Objective: To assess stroke awareness among patients presenting to the emergency department with an acute ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

Methods: A consecutive cohort of patients presenting with a cerebrovascular event was prospectively enrolled over a 15-month period and questionnaires were administered. If the patient was unable to respond to the questions or answer the questionnaire, it was administered to the primary caregiver. Comprehension of having a cerebrovascular event, reason for delay in presentation, mode of arrival and knowledge of treatment modalities were determined.

Results: Only 42% of 400 patients thought they were having a stroke or TIA. The median time to presentation was 3.4 h. Delayed presentation was almost equal in men and women. When asked about onset, 19.4% thought that a stroke came on gradually and only 51.9% thought immediate presentation was crucial. 20.8% of patients had heard of thrombolysis.

Conclusion: Community knowledge of ischaemic stroke needs to be enhanced so that individuals present earlier, leading to timely management.

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  • Funding: None.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Written informed consent was obtained prior to enrolment and approval was granted by the institutional review board.