National survey of management of transient ischaemic attack in Australia: Take immediate action

Christopher J. Price, David J. Blacker, Rohan S. Grimley, Helen M. Dewey, Richard P. Gerraty, Simon A. Koblar, Sonia M. Denisenko, Catherine E. Storey, Christopher F. Bladin, Kelvin M. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To understand the current organisation of services for people with transient ischaemic attack (TIA) and the processes of assessment and management across Australian hospitals. Design and setting: Cross-sectional survey in 2008 of 134 Australian hospitals, mostly urban centres that treat large numbers of stroke patients. Main outcome measures: Survey questions covered assessment, early management and follow-up practices, as well as organisation of services for TIA. Results: Seventy-four hospitals (55%) responded: 47 (64%) reported access to a stroke unit, and 19 (26%) to a specialist clinic for TIA. Initial assessment included blood tests, electrocardiogram and brain computed tomography at most sites (92%-94%), and carotid imaging at more than half (65%), but magnetic resonance imaging at only 3% of sites. A tool to stratify the risk of subsequent stroke was used at 38 sites (51%), more commonly in hospitals with a stroke unit than in those without such a unit (64% v 30%; P = 0.005). Treatment was initiated at the initial assessment at 42 sites (58%), more commonly at stroke unit than non-stroke unit sites (68% v 37%; P = 0.007). Formalised policies for management of TIA patients were used at 38 sites (54%), with clear differences between sites with a stroke unit and those without (70% v 25%; P < 0.001). Conclusion: Access to rapid assessment and management services for TIA varies considerably between Australian hospitals. The presence of organised stroke care at a hospital leads to improved processes of care for patients presenting with TIA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-20
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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