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Over a third of TIA patients being seen twice before referral for assessment

Over a third of patients with a TIA have two contacts with a healthcare professional before being referred for specialist assessment according to a UK study published today in Age and Ageing.

Researchers in Leicester looked at the factors causing a delay in presenting for specialist assessment in 278 patients newly diagnosed with a TIA.

Of the 133 high-risk TIA patients, 11 (8%) attended the clinic within 24 hours of symptom onset. Of the 89 low-risk TIA patients, 47 (53%) attended within seven days. Most patients (56%) first contacted a GP and 17% called an ambulance or attended A&E.

But 36% had a second consultation with a health care professional before attending the clinic, and this was more likely in those presenting to paramedics, out of hours GP services or optometry.