Minor Stroke, Small Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack (TIAs) are all the same. Small strokes are those stroke-like symptoms such as weakness of an arm or leg that completely resolves within a few hours or a day.
They were previously thought to be benevolent, nice and not a problem but research has revealead the high risk of further strokes and a major stroke.
Minor strokes are evil !
TIA is a transient episode of stroke-like dysfunction lasting a few minutes and no more than twenty four hours. TIAs and strokes cause the same symptoms such as sudden weakness or numbness of the face , an amber leg.
A TIA may also cause sudden dimming or loss of vision, slurred speech and mental confusion. However, the signs and symptoms of a Transient Ischemia Attack can occur within few minutes and sometimes hours but unfortunately, many people tend to ignore these early signs of this deadly disease and take the right step in combating it as fast as possible before Stroke really take over.
The strong point in this article is that, small strokes are menacing and a warning sign of an impeding major catastrophe. They are a warning that a major stroke is coming unless you beware.
They call for recognition of the seriousness, immediate admission to a hospital, comprehensive investigations and effective treatment to prevent a really big stroke. You must spend money treating a small stroke to avoid a major bigger and devastating major stroke.
Immediate Admission and Treatment
Once a stroke has occurred, there is likelihood of more and more strokes. A substantial proportion of patients with TIA and minor stroke become disabled and die largely due to repeated ‘minor strokes’ urgent evaluation and immediate initiation if treatment reduces the risk of a major stroke after a TIA, dramatically.
Stroke specialists would prefer that the patients and doctors do not wait for symptom resolution before urgent presentation to hospital.
Quick assessment of the condition should be done and emergency treatment should be given; most especially in a specially designed TIA department or clinic as it appears stroke rate is reduced.
TIA patients should be evaluated with history and physical examination, laboratory tests, electrocardiography and head and neck imaging (brain scan and carotid ultrasonography ). An electrocardiogram (ECG) is mandatory.
Risk factors such as hypertension, HIV, tobacco use, substance abuse, use of oral contraceptives, high cholesterol in the blood and diabetes need to be assessed. Some patients with concurrent medical illness such as sickle cell disease will require an evaluation to assess their risk.
TIA and stroke share common causes, risk factors and treatment. This article stresses that prompt intervention or hospitalisation is required and a patient who had a TIA the previous day should be told to go immediately to the emergency department for admission, investigation and treatment.
Hospitalisation allows monitoring and early treatment with clot bursting drugs. Finally, life style modification and exercise are to be recommended for all.