Northland DHB Stroke/TIA Service
Public Service, Neurology, Cardiology
What is a Stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to an area of the brain is interrupted causing damage to brain cells. This happens either with a clot in the blood vessel or the blood vessel bursting. The effects of a stroke depend on where in the brain, and how big, the interruption to blood flow is. Most people who have had a stroke are admitted to hospital. If the stroke has had significant physical effects you may be admitted to our rehabilitation unit aimed at increasing your independence, preventing complications from stroke and preventing further strokes.
What is a TIA?
TIA means Transient Ischaemic Attack. It is also often referred to as a "ministroke". Usually this means that the interrruption of blood supply is so short that there is no significant injury to the brain. Typically, someone who suffers a TIA is back to normal within one hour. However, it can last for up to 24 hours. The important thing about a TIA is that it can be a warning for future stroke. Because of this, we will often ask people to stay in hospital for a day or more to go through tests and treatments aimed at reducing the risk of any future stroke.
Recognising a stroke: remember the memory aid FAST
F - Face: ask the person to smile and see if the face is weak or skew on one side.
A - Arms: ask them to raise both arms and see if they are unable to raise the arm on one side.
S - Speech: ask them to speak and see if they are unable to talk, or their words are muddled or slurred.
T - Time: call an ambulance and get them to hospital fast if you think they are having a stroke.
If you think someone is having a stroke call an ambulance to get them to hospital FAST
For more information on stroke and TIA visit the New Zealand Stroke Foundation
(09) 430 4100
Fax (09) 430 4115 during working hours; (09) 430 4132 after hours
Emergency Department: Open 24 hours / 7 days, Phone (09) 430 4100
2 Hospital Road
2 Hospital Road
Private Bag 9742
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This page was last updated at 10:14AM on December 4, 2020. This information is reviewed and edited by Northland DHB Stroke/TIA Service.