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Texans Coach Suffers a Mini-Stroke

admin - November 7, 2013


Texans coach, Gary Kubiak, suffered a mini-stroke during the game on Sunday. His collapse on the field was immediately noticed by medical staff and he was taken to the hospital. Doctors say he is recovering nicely.

I was struck by a quote from his doctor published in the Houston Chronicle, “I use transient ischemic attack and stroke interchangeably because they’re both the same pathological process, they’re both strokes,” said Dr. James Grotta, chairman of neurology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. “A transient ischemic stroke is just a stroke that fortunately got better. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen again with less fortunate results.”

Too often, people believe that waiting for that mini-stroke (a Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA) is a good idea because that means you are really at risk. As we can see in this case, a mini-stroke is a serious problem, not just a warning sign of something bigger.

In 2010, the Canadian Stroke Network did a presentation at an American Heart Association Conference specifically about how TIA is not a Mini-Problem. TIAs, in and of themselves, cause deficits in brain function, including in what we would call “executive skills” such as reasoning and abstract thinking. TIAs are a sign of brain injury, not just a warning sign of an oncoming bigger problem.

I am glad to see Coach Kubiak’s doctors talking about this and using this moment to educate people about stroke. As always, at Life Line Screening, we believe stroke prevention is the best approach.

We wish Coach Kubiak a quick recovery, and know all his fans are rooting for him.


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