Approximately 27,000 transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) occur each year in England; this is likely to be a conservative estimate [1].

Making the diagnosis of TIA is important because the patient is at high risk of suffering a disabling stroke.

In England and Wales, over 80,000 people are hospitalised with, and 11% of deaths are attributable to, stroke. One-third of acute stroke patients are left dependent on others for daily activities and, in consequence, cerebrovascular disease is the third leading cause of disability in the UK.

Emergency physicians have an opportunity to recognise patients who have had a TIA and ensure they are promptly treated and investigated, thereby reducing the proportion that will suffer a stroke.

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