What is a stroke?
A stroke is a sudden onset neurologic deficit from lack of blood flow (ischemia) to an area of the brain caused by blockage of artery.
Arteries may become blocked from the build up of cholesterol plaque in the arterial wall (atheroma). This caused by smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes:
Arteries can also become blocked by blood clots from the heart in patients with atrial fibrillation:
Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the US.
50% of stroke survivors are disabled.
25% of stroke survivors require admission to a long term care facility.
Stroke prevention is clearly a priority.
What is a TIA?
A Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) is a stroke like episode caused by a temporary blockage in an artery which resolves on it’s own without causing permanent brain damage.
Why are TIAs important?
TIAs are an important indicator or warning of future stroke risk. If you have a TIA, you have a 10% chance of having a major stroke in the next three months. As many as 20% or patients presenting with major stroke have had a recent preceding TIA. TIA patients need to be evaluated as quickly as possible to identify and target stroke risk factors to prevent future stroke. This is traditionally done in the hospital, but our research has shown that this approach can be inefficient and costly, with patients spending up to 3 days in the hospital, and even then not getting all the necessary testing done.
Same-Day, Comprehensive Assessment of TIA and Minor Stroke.
The TIA Rapid Evaluation Center (TREC) at Monmouth Medical Center is the region’s only expedited outpatient diagnostic program specifically designed for patients who’ve had a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a minor stroke. Patients are referred directly by emergency physicians or other specialists who recognize the need for patients to undergo comprehensive testing as quickly as possible, and are all seen in the TREC within 24 hours.
Diagnostic Testing and Assessment, Right Away.
TREC services encompass every diagnostic test necessary to determine the best stroke prevention strategies for this group of patients who are at high risk for experiencing a more serious stroke. During a single visit to the TREC, patients undergo imaging studies, cardiac testing and blood tests, and meet with a stroke neurologist who answers their questions and designs a personalized treatment plan based on individual test results and unique health needs. The TREC at Monmouth Medical Center identifies the most appropriate stroke prevention treatments for each patient in a single day, so that preventive care can be scheduled with appropriate specialists and administered without delay.
I think I am having a stroke or TIA, what should I do?
If you are having active symptoms of stroke, get yourself to the hospital emergency room (ER) right away! However, if you get to the ER and your symptoms resolved, or you have a minor episode at home that resolved on its own, you may have had a TIA, and you should ask you doctor whether you might be a good candidate for an outpatient evaluation in our TREC rather than a hospital admission.