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NICE publish guideline on stroke and transient ischaemic attack

For Stroke and Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have published a guideline on the diagnosis and management of stroke and transient ischaemic attack in people aged over 16.

The guideline covers:
  • the care patients can expect
  • making decisions together
  • helping patients decide about treatment

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The NICE guideline covers:

Stroke: the care you should expect
A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, or when there is bleeding in or around the brain. More than 100,000 strokes happen in the UK every year. Over 1.2 million people in the UK are living with the effects of a stroke, making it the biggest single cause of disability. For the best chance of recovery, a stroke needs to be recognised and treated quickly. If symptoms disappear within a few hours, it is known as a transient ischaemic attack or TIA (also called a ‘mini stroke’) – this can be a warning sign that a stroke will happen in the future.

We want this guideline to make a difference to people with a stroke or TIA by making sure:
  • their symptoms are spotted quickly and a specialist sees them within 24 hours
  • they are offered the right scans and tests to get a fast diagnosis
  • aspirin is offered straightaway after a TIA to help prevent a stroke
  • the right treatment is offered quickly depending on the type of stroke.
Making decisions together
Decisions about treatment and care are best when they are made together. Your care team should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. They should also:
  • explain in an open and sensitive way what a stroke or a TIA is
  • make sure you understand what is happening in your treatment and care, and support you to say what you want
  • give you more information whenever you need it.
  • If you can’t understand the information you are given, tell your healthcare professional.
Helping you decide about treatment
Decompressive hemicraniectomy for severe stroke
A decompressive hemicraniectomy is a type of surgery sometimes used when people have swelling in their brain after a severe stroke. The surgery involves removing part of the skull to relieve the pressure caused by the swelling. There are pros and cons to this type of surgery. People are more likely to survive after their stroke but they have a higher chance of severe disability. We’ve produced this patient decision aid to help stroke teams discuss decompressive hemicraniectomy with people who have had a stroke and their families and carers, so they can decide together if this is the right choice.

NHS website for stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
Accessed 08/05/19
Links available in full article

© NICE [2019]

Stroke and transient ischaemic attack in over 16s: diagnosis and initial management. NICE guideline [NG128]
Available from: See Link below. All rights reserved. Subject to Notice of rights
NICE guidance is prepared for the National Health Service in England. All NICE guidance is subject to regular review and may be updated or withdrawn. NICE accepts no responsibility for the use of its content in this product/publication.

The information provided by NICE was accurate at the time this article was issued.

NICE guidance: Stroke and transient ischaemic attack in over 16s: diagnosis and initial management

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