Epworth Eastern’s new Rapid TIA referral unit

Neurosciences Unit

Epworth Eastern’s neurosciences unit is now open, providing early intervention, diagnosis and treatment for patients who present to their GPs with a suspected Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA).

Epworth Eastern launched the unit on Wednesday 24 February 2016, welcoming GPs to an expert panel discussion on TIA with Unit Director, Dr Amanda Gilligan. Epworth is the first private hospital to begin a partnership with the Eastern Primary Health Network to provide GPs and specialists with access to a TIA rapid response services.

What is TIA?

TIA is a temporary blockage of blood to the brain, with symptoms often mimicking a stroke. Unlike stroke, however, the symptoms will often disappear or lessen. However, TIA is a high-risk warning sign for stroke within 90 days, with the highest risk (reported to be up to 50 per cent) occurring in the first two days.

It can be difficult for patients experiencing TIA symptoms to access rapid specialist treatment. Epworth’s new unit, based at Epworth Eastern’s private ward at Box Hill Hospital, offers private hospital admission over the phone within hours of symptoms first appearing. The unit also provides a plan for rapid assessment – avoiding a potential emergency department stay.

On-call neurologists 24 hours a day

With a neurologist on call 24 hours a day, the new unit also provides potentially lifesaving intervention before a stroke occurs. Unit staff also provide extensive patient follow ups, at three, six and 12 months as recommended by best care guidelines as well as a follow up phone call one week post discharge.

The unit is supported by a multidisciplinary team made up of neurologists, medical staff, specialist acute neurosciences clinical nurse and dedicated allied health team with rapid access to radiology including MRI, pathology, cardiac investigations, vascular surgeons and cardiologists, as required.

GP referrals

For direct, over the phone admission, GPs can call 1800 792 778.

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