Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Friday, 8 May 2009 10:08 UK

Stroke message 'being ignored'

By Dr Tom Coffey

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"You could be having a brain attack"

Stroke is a medical emergency, and it needs prompt treatment, but some people are still leaving it too late to get medical attention.


Think of a stroke as like a "brain" attack; if you think you are having a stroke, you need to dial 999.

I saw a patient in casualty recently who had had a stroke just after taking her kids to school in the morning.

She was taken into hospital, given treatment, and by 10.30 she was sitting up in bed talking.

At the other end of the scale, I have had patients come to my GP surgery on a Monday morning having had a stroke over the weekend. By then, the stroke will have caused much more damage to the brain.

Strokes can usually be treated using clot-busting drugs.

They can also be prevented. Following a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, drinking alcohol in moderation, lowering cholesterol, and not smoking will dramatically reduce the risk of having a stroke.


The doctor's diary is a weekly insight into the local and national issues affecting a busy GP practice.

The Doctors

Dr JonesDr AndrewsDr CoffeyDr SanghaDr DuckenfieldDr Tunstall-Pedoe

The BBC diary doctors work at Brocklebank Health Centre in Wandsworth, London, which has 15 GPs and nine nurses. It is open seven days a week, and also offers services including physiotherapy, counselling, a travel clinic and the Citizen Advice Bureau.

DR NICOLA JONES

Nicola has been a GP for 14 years and has a particular interest in heart conditions, preventative health care and women's health. She has three children and a passion for exercise and the outdoors.

MBE. MBchB. DRCOG. MRCGP. MBA.

DR LUCY ANDREWS

Lucy has been practising as a GP since 1996. After a period of time in Australia and Hampshire she is now settled in London. Her main areas of clinical interest include paediatrics, palliative care and psychiatry. She is married with three young boys and a puppy.

BSc. MBBS. MRCGP. DRCOG. DFFP.

DR TOM COFFEY

Tom has been a GP for 14 years. He also works at A&E in Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith. His particular interests are sports medicine, allergies and lung disease. He is a keen tennis player and has been a Chelsea season ticket holder for 10 years.

BSc(Hons). MBBS. MRCP. DCh. DRCOG.

DR REGGIE SANGHA

Reggie qualified from Cardiff medical school in 1995, she did her GP training in Brighton and has been a practising GP for nine years. Her specialist interests include sexual health, family planning and expedition medicine. In her spare time she likes playing tennis and is a keen photographer.

MBchB. MRCGP. DRCOG. DFSRH.

DR JANE DUCKENFIELD

Jane graduated from Bristol University in 1999. Her interests are women's health, sexual heath and psychiatry. She likes travel, food and fine wine, with the odd trip to the gym to compensate!

MBChB Bristol. MRCGP. DRCOG. DFFP.

DR SUSIE TUNSTALL- PEDOE

Susie has been working as a GP at Brocklebank for nine years, following stints working abroad in Belize and Kenya. She loves student teaching and her clinical interests include women's health, paediatrics, tropical medicine and palliative care. She has four young children and is a keen musician.

MBBS. MRCGP. DRCOG. DFFP.



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