A review of the referrals to a daily tia service and subsequent specialist diagnosis

Abstract Ref: 0081

Michael Magee, Djamil Vahidassr
Antrim Area Hospital, Antrim,United Kingdom


Background: Current guidelines highlight the need for all patients experiencing transient
ischaemic attacks (TIA) within the previous 7 days to be seen by a specialist service within
24 hours. (RCP National Clinical Guideline for Stroke 2016) Risk stratification tools are
no longer recommended.(Lavallee 2007;Wardlaw, 2014) We reviewed the referrals to such
a service to assess the proportion of patients who received a diagnosis of TIA and the time
taken for assessment.

Methods: We used a retrospective review of 131 patients coded under the daily TIA clinic
in 2018 and analysed the clinic letter from the attendance.We assessed the time taken from
referral to clinic review and the percentage of patients diagnosed with TIA by the specialist

Results: Of 131 patients seen only 33.6% were diagnosed TIA by the stroke specialist
team. Other frequently seen diagnoses were migraine (22.9%), presyncope (12.2%),
transient global amnesia (4.6%). ‘Other’ diagnoses such as peripheral nerve palsy, cervical
root impingement and delirium made up the remainder. Referrals from the emergency
department only received TIA diagnosis in 25.3%, GP referrals (34.9%) and eye casualty
The time from referral to review was a mean of 2.45 days. The patients diagnosed with TIA
were seen with average of 2.14 days, non TIAs were 2.6 days.

Conclusion: Evidence shows that patients suffering TIA should be seen urgently within
24hrs.Thedegree of non TIA symptoms being reviewed risks these services being overrun. A
review of our service has shown that the average time of referral to review is longer than
desired, however only a third of patients seen were felt to have a TIA. Unless there is a
change in the standard of referral it will continue to be difficult to see all true TIAs within
24hrs. This will require further education for our colleagues and a more robust triaging