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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Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Written informed consent was obtained prior to enrolment and approval was granted by the institutional review board.