Ageism in services for transient ischaemic attack and stroke

Unfortunately, British medical Journal is no longer available free on-line and the nearest medical library is either 400 miles or 1,500+ away.

2006;333:508-509 (9 September), doi:10.1136/bmj.38961.641400.BE

Ageism in services for transient ischaemic attack and stroke could be cut by emulating successful efforts against ageism in heart disease care

Societies based on market driven economies have deeply embedded value systems that inherently favour economically productive younger citizens and marginalise non-productive older citizens. Health services reflect the societies they serve. One manifestationof institutionalised ageism is overt and covert rationing of health care that discriminates against older people. This might be acceptable if the clinical outcomes of treating older people were inferior. However, the notion of age based rationing of treatment has become unsustainable and unethical as robust evidence has accumulated that shows comparable outcomes for treatment of older and younger people.

In England, decades of health service underfunding have provided an environment in which ageism has flourished—it is endemic. Whenever a clinical stone is turned over, ageism is revealed—for example, in cancer services, coronary care units, prevention of vascular disease, and in mental health services. To this list we must now add the . . . [Full text of this article]

Press release here
“Ageism endemic in health services”


1 Response to “Ageism in services for transient ischaemic attack and stroke”

  1. 1 Carolyn 2006 September 11 at 9:42 am

    I think that ageism is rampant in stroke diagnosis and treatment. My mom had a stroke during 4/05. Since it was not an obvious defect, no one actually took her to the hospital, and when she did see her MD no referral was given for her to get a CT or MRI diagnosing it. Further, it was only after she told me of rt sided weakness that I asked her husband to ask for and get PT and OT support. She never did get OT, which would have helped her with what distress her most, her hand writing skills. It seemed her MD just minimized every symptom and never even analyzed or changed her meds.

    I don’t know if there is a real standard of care for strokes that are not catastrophic, but I would certainly like for there to be, and all MDs should follow it. A stroke is never a “mini” event to the person it is happening to. There are SE from a stroke and sequelae that may not be evident when the person has the actual event. All people need complete work ups and good follow up when they are suspected of having TIA’s and/or strokes.

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