Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a transient stroke that lasts only a few minutes. It occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly interrupted. TIA symptoms which usually occur suddenly are similar to those of stroke but do not last as long. Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour.

You do not know if it is a stroke or TIA!

Both are emergencies! Call 911 and get help NOW!

Patients in whom TIA is diagnosed in the emergency department have high immediate and short-term risks of stroke. TIA is under-investigated (not enough tests are done) and under treated (people are not prescribed preventative medications). Make sure that you get proper treatment.

What do I do if I have a TIA?

  1. Go to Emergency immediately. Doctors there should schedule all the tests that they would to determine why a stroke has occurred and put you on preventative medication. You have a very high risk of having a major stroke within the next few hours, days or weeks.
  2. Ensure that the hospital does all the tests and make a determination before being discharged.
  3. Ensure you have preventative medications that match the medical determination before being discharged.
  4. Take the preventative medications as prescribed.
  5. Change those risk factors you have control over! Stop smoking, control blood pressure with medication, control blood sugar if you are a diabetic.
  6. Take prescribed medications to prevent stroke.

You are at much higher risk of a stroke if you have been having TIAs

  • One out of three people who have a TIA will have a stroke.
  • Approximately 60% of strokes occur in patients who have had a previous TIA. For more information go to the Internet Stroke Center

If you have had a TIA (transient ischemic attack) your risk of stroke is:

  • 5% within the first two days after a TIA (Lindgren A, Norrving B, Thornqvist MLakartidningen (2004 Mar 18;101(12):1102-6).
  • 8 % 1st month after a TIA
  • 12 % in the first year after a TIA
  • 24- 29% in 5 years after a TIA