Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)

How is stroke diagnosed?

The doctor/medical practitioner will need to:

  • Obtain a careful medical history from the patient (and often family too)
  • Carry out a thorough physical examination to
    • Establish the effects of the stroke e.g. test for limb weakness, slurred speech, and visual problems
    • Determine what may have caused the stroke e.g. check for high blood pressure and high cholesterol
    • Establish how quickly the symptoms appeared – symptoms of stroke usually appear very suddenly
  • Carry out further tests such as CT scanning (this will be explained in more detail in the next section)

All of Scotland’s stroke units are audited annually on their implementation of “the stroke bundle”.

The stroke bundle consists of the following:

  • Admission to a stroke unit within 1 day of stroke
  • Swallow screening within 4 hours of admission
  • Brain scan – CT or MRI within 12 hours of admission
  • Aspirin prescription where appropriate within 1 day of admission (not for patients with haemorrhagic stroke)

Page last reviewed: 10 Jan 2020