Stroke Prevention Clinic
The Stroke Prevention Clinic is an outpatient clinic for people who have recently had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or people who are at high risk of having either. Those who have had a stroke or TIA are at much higher risk of having another event within the next five years. The clinic helps people by reviewing the causes of these attacks, and helps them prevent future attacks through a number of strategies including eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise, and controlling blood pressure. Based on international studies of similar programs, taking advantage of the Stroke Prevention Clinic can reduce your risk of a secondary stroke by as much as 80%.
Most people go to the clinic for two or three appointments on average, and then follow up with their primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner). However, additional appointments at the clinic are available as needed.
For the Northwestern Ontario Regional Stroke Network website where you will find a staff list, events, educational material, publications, videos and other resource material, please visit http://www.nwostroke.ca.
How to Get Referred
People who go to the Emergency Department at the Health Sciences Centre and are diagnosed as having a stroke are automatically referred to the Stroke Prevention Clinic. You may also get a referral from your primary care provider (family doctor, nurse practitioner, etc.). People outside of Thunder Bay can be referred to the clinic by their primary care provider or by any other physician or referring medical specialist. Follow-up clinics are also available in Kenora, Sioux Lookout, Fort Frances, and Marathon.
For more information, please call (807) 684-6700.
What to Expect
Prior to your first visit to the clinic, your primary care provider, the doctor who cared for you in the Emergency Department, or some other medical specialist may order some tests for you, including a carotid doppler (ultrasound of your carotid artery in your neck). You will be given information about this at that time, though you can always call the clinic at (807) 684-6700 for more information.
It is important to continue taking any medications you have been prescribed, and be aware of the sudden warning signs of stroke (see below). It is also a good idea to carry a list of medications in your purse or wallet so that in an emergency situation, first responders and doctors will know what medications you are taking.
On the day of your appointment, take all your medications and meals as normal. Please bring all your medications with you in their containers including prescription drugs, vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal medications, eye drops, inhalers, over-the-counter medications (like aspirin, etc.), and any other pills or supplements you take. If you have an at-home blood pressure monitor, please bring that as well.
Also plan to have a family member or someone else with you, especially for your first visit. Some people find it easier to remember all the information if someone is there to help. Bringing a pen and notepad to write notes is a good idea too.
During your first appointment, you will meet one or more members of the stroke prevention team including the nurse practitioner, a neurologist (a doctor specializing in stroke), and a dietitian. Together, the team will go over any test results you’ve had, plan possible future tests if needed, and discuss ways of reducing your risk for another stroke or TIA event. These strategies will be customized to meet your medical condition and day-to-day needs.
Each appointment takes about one hour.
If you think you may be having a stroke call 911 (or the emergency number for your community) immediately.
Learn the Signs of Stroke
Face is it drooping?
Arms can you raise both?
Speech is it blurred or jumbled?
Time to call 9-1-1 right away.
Act FAST because the quicker you act, the more of the person you save.
© Heart And Stroke Foundation of Canada, 2014