TIA Clinic (Rapid Access)

The Rapid Access Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) clinic treats patients with suspected minor strokes and transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) in a daily clinic in an attempt to prevent further larger strokes occurring and aim is to see all patients with suspected TIAs within seven days of referral.

Main Aims: –

  • To reduce the incidence of stroke in patients at highest risk
  • To provide rapid access for the assessment and investigation of patients with a suspected TIA
  • To provide an alternative to admission for these patients
  • To comply with the requirements of the NSF for Older People, Standard 5-Stroke

Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) is a medical emergency. Without treatment people with TIA are at risk of developing stroke within two days and up to 85% of strokes that follow TIA will be fatal or disabling.

If you have the symptoms of a TIA, do not ignore it, seek medical help urgently. It is a warning sign that you could have a stroke.

What are the symptoms of TIA?

The symptoms of TIA are the same as those of a stroke. These symptoms may depend on the part of the brain affected. It may include:

  • weakness, numbness of arm, leg or face
  • blurred or sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • difficulties with speech e.g. slurred speech
  • pins and needles on one side of the body

If you experience any of these symptoms, do not ignore them even if the symptoms get better. You should seek medical help urgently by calling 999.

If the symptoms are no longer present, you should see your GP immediately to be referred to the TIA clinic. The earlier these symptoms are investigated and treated, the lower the risk of stroke and the better your chance of recovery.

The TIA clinic focuses on:

  • Rapid assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, of all patients with suspected TIAs, with necessary investigations performed on the day of the clinic
  • Prevention, risk factor management and education of patients and relatives
  • Urgent referrals for carotid surgery if indicated

Please ensure that your GP has your correct telephone number for urgent appointments.

GPs can make a referral to the TIA clinic using the referral form.

Clinic tests

We are able to access a range of diagnostic tests including CT scan, ECG, phlebotomy test and carotid Doppler scan slots. Our aim is to identify the risk factors for each patient and ensure that treatment is optimised to reduce the risk as much as possible. Our staff can give information on healthy life style changes such as diet, exercise, alcohol consumption and giving up smoking, all of which can help reduce the risk of stroke.

Who is at risk of having a TIA or stroke?

Some people are more at risk of having a TIA or stroke than others. These are:

  • people who have blood pressure consistently higher than 130/85
  • people who have diabetes
  • people with a family history of stroke
  • people who have had a heart attack, angina or certain other heart problems
  • smokers
  • heavy drinkers
  • people who eat a lot of fat in their diet

What shall I do to prevent TIA or stroke?

To minimise your risks of further TIA or stroke, you will need to modify your lifestyle. There are several ways you can do this;

  • Health Checks:
    – Blood Pressure: get your blood pressure checked – if it is higher than 130/85 ask your GP to help you.
    – Cholesterol: If your total cholesterol is more than 5.0mmol/l, ask your GP for help.
    – Blood Sugar: Normally blood glucose levels stay within 4 to 8mmol/l throughout the day: But they are higher after meals and usually lowest in the morning.
  • Take regular exercise: Increase your level of physical activity to at least 30 minutes of moderately intense activity five times per week
  • limit the amount of fat you eat
  • control or reduce your weight to avoid obesity
  • avoid excess alcohol: Do not to exceed the recommended guideline of two to three units for women and three to four units for men per day
  • smoking: give up smoking. Ask your doctor to help you or check our stop smoking service
  • eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables in your diet each day
  • reduce the amount of salt in your food
  • take your prescribed medications: Tablets may be recommended in addition to lifestyle changes to help control your risk factors. Please do not stop any medication without consulting your doctor.

Further Information

The team can be contacted for advice Monday to Friday during normal working hours.

Clinic Tel; 01603 288173, or extension 4185 if you are ringing internally/or bleep number 1097.

Fax no 01603 288280 for referrals

Clinics are run by a specialist nurse and a consultant.

Directions

Based at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Level 2, East Block next to the Acute Medical Unit (L) situated in VTE/TIA clinic.  See the hospital map and go to the in-patients east entrance, car park K.

Opening Times:

Monday 09:00 – 16:30
Tuesday 09:00 – 16:30
Wednesday 09:00 – 16:30
Thursday 09:00 – 16:30
Friday 09:00 – 16:30
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Useful links

Patient Information

Stroke Association’s leaflet on driving after stroke

 

Stroke Associations’s leaflet on TIA