Professor Ashok Handa publishes study into stroke patient delays

Professor Ashok Handa publishes study into stroke patient delays

A study led by St Catz Fellow Professor Ashok Handa has revealed that patients may not always be aware when they are having a stroke. Many patients experiencing the symptoms of stroke put off seeking medical attention thinking that their condition was not serious enough to report.

The study included 150 patients who had suffered a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or minor stroke. Of that number, 92 delayed seeking medical attention, 88 did not believe they were having a stroke and 54 were unaware of the public FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Time) campaign. The research also found that one third of all patients reported eye symptoms when they sought medical help, a symptom which is not currently highlighted in the FAST campaign.

The overall recommendation of the study is that the public campaign should include eye related symptoms as an indicator of stroke and reaffirm the importance of reacting to stroke symptoms by seeking care as soon as possible.

Professor Handa, who is also Director of Surgical Education at Oxford's Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences said: “FASTER — face, arm, speech, time, eyes, react — may be a better acronym for the public campaign.”