England Patients who receive treatment for a minor stroke within 24 hours reduce their risk of a second stroke by 80 percent compared with those who wait three days or more to see a doctor, according to a new study released today.
Many patients who experience the relatively mild and temporary symptoms of a minor stroke - slurred speech, arm weakness and dizziness - often forgo seeing a doctor for days or weeks. Some doctors also fail to initiate immediate treatment for such symptoms.
But researchers in Oxford, England, found in a study of 1,278 stroke patients that even the mildest strokes need to be treated quickly with blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering drugs to avoid a recurrence.
"If someone has either the warning signs of a stroke or has a mild stroke, they need to seek urgent medical care," said Dr. Michael Alexander, who directs the Neurovascular Center at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and who was not involved in the study.