Transient Ischemic Attacks

As a senior care provider you are certainly familiar with strokes; but have you heard of a transient ischemic attack? A transient ischemic attack, or TIA, can be a warning sign of an impending stroke. In fact, according to the National Stroke Association up to 40 percent of all people who have a TIA will go on to have a stroke, with 5 percent suffering a stroke within two days of the TIA. Obviously, identifying the signs and symptoms of a TIA, and seeking immediate medical attention is of critical importance.

What is a TIA?
According to the National Stroke Association, a TIA occurs when “a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked for a short period of time, the blood flow to that area of the brain slows or stops. This lack of blood (and oxygen) often leads to temporary symptoms such as slurred speech or blurry vision.”

What are the symptoms of a TIA?
The symptoms of a TIA are basically the same as that of a stroke and can include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

If you identify any of these signs in a resident, call 911 immediately. The sooner the resident receives treatment, the better the chances are of a stroke being prevented.

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