During 2017, there will be more than 55,000 new and recurrent strokes (where blood supply to the brain is stopped by a clot or bleeding) in Australia, according to the National Stroke Foundation. As many as 90 per cent of strokes are ischaemic – caused by a blood clot – and as many as 65 per cent of those classified as “minor”, sometimes termed a “mini stroke” or transient ischaemic attack. A recent “Perspective” article in the Medical Journal of Australia argues that, in contrast to patients who sustain a more severe stroke, “patients who have a minor stroke are likely to be discharged home early, often with limited referrals to services beyond their general practitioner. This is despite increasing evidence that survivors of minor stroke may have persisting stroke-related impairments that require rehabilitation.”
Furthermore, “studies have shown that between one and two-thirds of minor stroke survivors have compromised social participation outcomes…that 62 per cent of patients who had a mild stroke had difficulty returning to employment or volunteer work, while 36 per cent had reduced social activity 6 months after the stroke. Since about 30 per cent of strokes occur in individuals under 65 years of age, these figures are particularly troubling.” (Download Brain Injury Australia’s Position Paper on “young stroke”, here).
Download “Undetected and underserved: the untold story of patients who had a minor stroke”, from the 1 May, 2017 edition of the Medical Journal of Australia, here.
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