What is it?
A Transient Ischaemic Attack, also known as a TIA, is a minor stroke. It occurs when blood supply to the brain is blocked for a short time.
TIAs are caused by a blood clot or blockage which dissolves or dislodges on its own. Most TIAs resolve in around one hour. Some only last a few minutes. TIAs are sometimes called mini strokes as they cause the same symptoms that occur in strokes.
Common symptoms include slurred speech, weakness in one side of the body and difficulty seeing. A person showing these symptoms needs urgent treatment to check if they have had a TIA or a stroke.
There is a high risk of stroke after a TIA. The highest risk is within the first 24 to 48 hours. Treatment for TIAs includes medication, surgery and healthy lifestyle changes.
What will my GP do now?
Your GP will check your risk to see if a stroke is likely in the next 24 to 48 hours. If your risk is high, your GP will send you to the emergency department straight away.
They may also:
- Check your medical records
- Check for stroke signs like speech problems, vision loss and limb weakness
- Check your blood pressure and heart health
- Exclude any other health issues
Your GP may also talk to you about how to manage your heart disease risk factors. They may suggest you see a specialist (neurologist) for more tests.
What will my GP do in the future?
Your GP may see you in one month or sooner to check your health and risk of a future stroke. Your GP may:
- Keep helping you manage your risk factors
- Manage your other health concerns
- Talk to you about how to check for signs of a stroke
- Prescribe medication and check for side effects
- Arrange regular check-ups
Your GP may also discuss healthy living tips, like:
- Quitting smoking
- Weight loss
- Drinking safe amounts
- Safe driving