21 August 2019

Patients who may be at risk of having a stroke are being offered the opportunity to have a same day MRI scan.

The trial service is to be offered to patients who have shown symptoms of a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) and who are attending the rapid access TIA clinic at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

A TIA – often called a ‘mini stroke’ – is caused by a temporary disruption in the blood supply to part of the brain, and is a warning that the patient may be at risk of going on to have a full stroke.

The scan helps clinicians determine whether a patient has suffered a ‘mini stroke’ and if they are at risk of a stroke so that preventative measures can be put in place straight away. The scan can also offer reassurance to those patients where the clinician feels they have not suffered a TIA.

MRIs will be offered to selected patients attending the clinic on a Monday to Friday and, if it proves to be successful, the same day service could be rolled out to include Saturday and Sunday clinics.

It is part of a collaboration between the Stroke Prevention Team and the Radiology Department, and is in keeping with the latest national guidance which advocates greater use of MRI scanning in the early and rapid assessment of a possible stroke warning.

Dr Owen David, Consultant Physician specialising in stroke and elderly care at SaTH, said: “A same day scan will allow a more detailed ‘one stop’ assessment for those patients of particular concern helping to differentiate low from high risk presentations.

“We can find out if there is anything to be worried about the same day – and as importantly, if there is nothing to be worried about, so we can reassure our patients.

“For those that have had a stroke warning, it means that we can put everything in place to prevent and reduce the chances of a full stroke from happening. They will be able to receive stroke prevention medications straight away, rather than wait several weeks for an outpatient scan.

“The Stroke Prevention Team is really pleased to be able to offer this service which will be of great benefit to our patients, and we would like to thank our colleagues in Radiology for helping to make this happen.”