May 15, 2014 – Seeing Stroke
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ANCHOR LEAD: THERE IS HOPE FOR MAKING A STROKE DIAGNOSIS EVEN WHEN ATYPICAL SYMPTOMS ARE SEEN, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
If you’re a woman, Hispanic, or younger than 45 and you have a stroke, chances are good your diagnosis will be missed even though you come to an emergency department, research by David Newman-Toker and colleagues at Johns Hopkins has shown, but there is hope.
NEWMAN-TOKER: People aren’t as motivated to come in with symptoms like dizziness or headache as they are with weakness on one side of the body or inability to speak. It takes them an average of a couple hours longer to show up so they’re less able to get acute treatments. The patients we studied were people who came to the emergency department. We failed them even though they accessed the medical system. We have to try to do a better job to try to identify those high risk patients. What we have now are approaches to evaluate these patients that are based on clinical features such as eye movement physiology for dizzy patients and clinical symptoms that are age and risk factor independent. :34
Newman-Toker says when all of these strategies are used to evaluate a patient the odds of missing the diagnosis should decline. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.