Transient ischaemic attacks (TIA)

Photo: Samuli Raappana / Suomen Punainen Risti

Call 112 if the following symptoms occur.

If a clot or bleeding forms in the vascular system in the brain, it causes a transient ischaemic attack, which may lead to a cerebral infarction. The condition may lead to a life-threatening state in a moment.

The different parts of the brain guide the different actions of a human, so the symptoms and effects vary depending on which part of the brain the damage is in and how extensive it is.

Transient ischaemic attacks may be caused by

  • Damage to brain tissue
  • Brain tumour or infection
  • Clot in the cerebrovascular system (cerebral infarction) or bleeding due to a tear in a clot

Symptoms of a transient ischaemic attack

  • Asymmetry on the face, drooping of one side of the mouth
  • One-sided limb weakness
  • Difficulty producing speech, slurred speech
  • Loss of balance
  • Trouble seeing
  • Dizziness, incoherence
  • A sudden severe headache may be a symptom of a cerebral haemorrhage

Figure out the situation

  • Ask the person to smile or make a face. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Ask the person to raise both arms to the front. Does one arm remain lower than the other?
  • Take the person by both hands and ask them to squeeze your hands. Is one hand significantly weaker?
  • Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech unclear or slurred?

First aid in case of transient ischaemic attack

  1. Calm the person and place them in a lying down position.

  2. Call 112 if any of these symptoms occur.

  3. While waiting for help to arrive, observe the state of the person (consciousness, breathing), and report any changes to the Emergency Response Centre. 

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Video: Samuli Raappana / Finnish Red Cross

Always call the emergency number 112 whenever someone’s life, health, property, or the environment are in danger or threatened or you suspect this to be the case.

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