NICE backs suspected stroke referral to specialist units

GPs should refer patients with suspected stroke to specialist stroke units within 24 hours, according to latest guidance.

NICE has issued guidance on the acute stage of a stroke or TIA, while the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has released guidance covering all aspects of stroke care.

NICE recommends the Face Arm Speech Test (FAST) to diagnose a suspected stroke.

Patients with a suspected stroke or TIA should then be started on 300mg of aspirin immediately.

High-risk patients who have already had a TIA should receive a diagnosis, investigations and initial treatment within 24 hours.

The RCP adds that hospital services should ensure that primary care services are fully prepared for a patient’s discharge.

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