Stroke op 'lacking'5th June 2009
A study has shown that only 20% of patients who suffer mini strokes are receiving operations designed to prevent them having a serious stroke within two weeks.
The British Medical Journal study, by the Royal College of Physicians and the Vascular Society, looked at 5,500 patients over 2005-2007.
It found that patients were put in danger of suffering full strokes because of a lack of timely diagnosis and badly managed hospital services.
120,000 people every year suffer a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or mini stroke in the UK.
These can be a sign that a person is in danger of suffering a full-blown stroke. Around 80% of people who have a mini stroke can be helped by having an operation on the arteries in the neck.
Government guidance says the surgery should be performed within two weeks. However, the study revealed that only one fifth of patients were seen with that time.
Almost one third of patients were made to wait longer than three months for an operation.
Joe Korner, of the Stroke Association, said: "The Stroke Association wants to see substantial progress in the coming months to remove all of the delays in treating TIA."
"What is needed has already been outlined in the stroke strategy. We urge all parts of the health service to make the changes needed to prevent thousands of people from having a stroke in the coming year."
Ann Keen, a health minister in England, said: "As well as making clear that stroke is an emergency that must be treated quickly, the stroke strategy sets high standards for all aspects of treatment, care and support for stroke survivors and their carers."
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Title: Stroke op 'lacking'
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 11652
Date Added: 5th Jun 2009