Warning Signs For Stroke Often Overlooked In Emergency Rooms

strokes 021314

The initial warning signs of stroke symptoms often go unnoticed, according to a new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University. For the study the researchers examined data collected from emergency room visits as part of the 2009 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases, and from the 2008-2009 State emergency department databases.

In total they examined records for 187,188 stroke admissions and found that 12.7 percent of those patients had previously visited an emergency room within 30 days, receiving an unrelated diagnosis. About one in ten of those patients reported leaving the hospital with headache, dizziness or other stroke related symptomss.

"This study provides some immediate suggestions to ED physicians who are evaluating patients with these symptoms -- be more attuned to the possibility of stroke in younger, female, and non-white patients," the researchers explained.

"Though 'simple', indiscriminate use of neuroimaging will not prove an effective strategy to detect stroke in these patients," they added. "Instead, clinicians should leverage well-studied bedside methods to identify dizziness and headache patients at high risk for stroke."

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