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Treatment for acute stroke must be given as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms if it is to be effective. For many patients there is a significant delay in reaching hospital. Researchers in Plymouth, UK have looked into three aspects of this delay; the time taken by patients to decide they are seriously ill, the time taken to call for medical help, and the time from calling for medical help to reaching hospital.
They interviewed four groups, each of 40 people, using a standardised, structured interview with open ended questions. The four groups were; patients with stroke or transient ischaemic attack (able to participate and interviewed within 48 hours of admission to hospital), patients …