Diagnosis and initial management of transient ischaemic attack

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Transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is the sudden onset of focal neurological dysfunction of presumed vascular origin that, by definition, resolves within 24 hours, and usually much sooner. Recently, its importance as a predictor of completed stroke in the following hours or days has been recognised, but many healthcare professionals are unaware of this and of the importance of taking immediate action.

This concise guideline summarises the TIA component of the updated National Clinical Guideline for stroke, providing tools that healthcare professionals can use to identify patients at risk and giving guidance on acute management and appropriate referral for specialist assessment. It is aimed particularly at healthcare professionals who assess patients acutely, including paramedics and doctors and nurses in the accident and emergency department and in general practice.

This guideline was also published in Clinical Medicine, volume 10 issue 2.