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Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): Definition and Causes (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes

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    00:00 Welcome to our video series on Neurological Disorders.

    00:03 In this one, we're going to take a look at transient ischemic attacks.

    00:07 We call those TIA for short.

    00:10 Now TIAs are caused by an interruption of blood flow to a local portion of the brain.

    00:17 That's why we call it transient interruption.

    00:19 So the interruption is there, but it's not like a full-on stroke, because it comes and it goes.

    00:25 Most TIAs last less than one hour.

    00:28 TIAs that last longer are most often associated with an infarction or a stroke.

    00:34 So we went through these with my dad.

    00:36 He had TIAs and they can be pretty scary because you're not sure what's going to happen after a TIA.

    00:42 This is going to progress to a full on stroke or if it's just going to be a TIA.

    00:47 And that's why I want to remind you that the risk of permanent tissue injury, IE infarction, even when focal transient neurological symptoms last less than one hour, there's still that risk.

    00:59 So I really was nervous when my dad had a TIA because I knew that the increased his risk for it later on, having a stroke.

    01:09 So even relatively brief ischemia can cause permanent brain injury.

    01:15 So a TIA equals medical emergencies.

    01:19 TIAs are warning signs and patient should get immediate medical treatment.

    01:23 So, say, you're at home with someone and they're showing you these signs, you need to get them immediately to the ER.

    01:29 Because one in three patients will progress to ischemic stroke.

    01:32 Either get them to a hospital and, hopefully, a more advanced hospital, so they can help that patient get the kind of treatment they need to restore that blood flow if necessary.

    01:42 So, what is the difference between a TIA and stroke? Pause the video and gather your thoughts and see right now what do you think is the difference between a TIA, a transient ischemic attack, and a stroke.

    01:57 Okay, welcome back.

    01:59 Let's see if your thoughts line up with our video.

    02:01 So, a TIA usually only lasts a short period of time, right? So the results should usually resolve.

    02:08 The neurologic symptoms are present, but it's more like a focal brain, spinal cord, or retinal ischemia, so should not be as intense.

    02:18 There's no infarction of the tissue, but it does suffer an ischemia.

    02:21 So the symptoms are gonna vary based on where it was or how big it was.

    02:26 But ischemia means that that tissue could come back.

    02:30 Once it's infarcted, it's dead.

    02:33 Okay, so the goal with heart attacks, right, when someone has chest pain, that's ischemia, we want to make sure that ischemia doesn't turn into infarcted heart tissue, same thing with the brain.

    02:44 we want to make sure ischemia doesn't turn into infarct.

    02:48 Now if someone has an ischemic stroke, they have definite neurological symptoms, they have infarcted CNS or brain tissue.

    02:57 Their symptoms vary based on the size and location of the infarct.

    03:00 And they could have some neurological deficits that remain far longer than a TIA.

    03:08 So there's some other transient neurological events that might look like a TIA.

    03:13 TIA is one of them, but there's some other common causes that will need to be ruled out.

    03:17 So if someone is starting to show you these symptoms, it could be other things.

    03:20 It might be seizure, a migraine aura, or just syncope which means feeling faint or dizzy.

    03:26 Now those are the most common causes that might mimic or look like a TIA.

    03:31 Some other less common, but possible causes could be low blood sugar, hypoglycemia.

    03:37 If we can just restore that blood sugar to a normal level, the symptoms should resolve.

    03:41 Sometimes exacerbations of multiple sclerosis can look like a TIA or a transient neurological event.

    03:48 A brain tumor might be causing that or even a subdural hematoma.

    03:53 Now those are the four most likely less common but possible causes.

    03:59 We've listed six others for you there, but I would focus the most on those four.

    04:04 The others are possible, but really not very probable.

    04:08 So if you're going to look at anything on this slide, look at seizures, migraine aura, and syncope, and then focus on those four on the left.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): Definition and Causes (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes is from the course Stroke (Nursing). It contains the following chapters:

    • Transient Ischemic Attacks
    • Other Transient Neurologic Events

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. A temporary interruption of blood flow to a local portion of the brain
    2. Hemorrhage in the brain
    3. An interruption of blood flow to the entire brain
    4. Uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain
    1. Seizure
    2. Syncope
    3. Migraine aura
    4. Subdural hematoma
    5. Hyperglycemia

    Author of lecture Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): Definition and Causes (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes


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