Case 1: Jimmy

Jimmy is a 58 year man. He is presently unemployed and smokes heavily. He has a family history of ischaemic heart disease and hypertension.

Jimmy Govan sitting in a chair with a cigarette and beer

Jimmy has driven to his local shopping centre with his wife. Whist at the centre he falls over and experiences right-sided face, arm and leg weakness, and speech problems.

Jimmy’s wife witnesses the incident; what should she do next?

Go directly to A&E – Yes – this may be an appropriate option depending on the circumstances. Going directly to A&E will ensure Jimmy receives urgent medical attention as he may be having a stroke and might benefit from treatment with thrombolysis and/or thrombectomy.

However, if a 999 ambulance is called the paramedics can ensure the patient is taken to the most appropriate hospital, which may not be the closest, and can also pre-alert the hospital which reduces delays to treatment

However, Jimmy should not drive as he may be having a stroke.

Call the family GP – No – calling the family GP will result in an average delay of 1½ hours. Seek medical assistance urgently as Jimmy may be having a stroke and might benefit from treatment with thrombolysis and/or thrombectomy.

Wait and see if things improve – No – it is advisable to seek medical assistance urgently as Jimmy may be having a stroke and might benefit from treatment with thrombolysis and/or thrombectomy.

Call 999 – Yes – Well done, calling 999 will ensure Jimmy receives urgent medical attention as he may be having a stroke and might benefit from treatment with thrombolysis and/or thrombectomy.

Call NHS 24 – No – calling NHS 24 will lead to delays. Seek medical assistance urgently as Jimmy may be having a stroke and might benefit from treatment with thrombolysis and/or thrombectomy.