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About The Transient Ischemic Attack And Minor Stroke (TAMS) Unit

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Location

​​​​​​​​​​​​Toronto Western Hospital | map iconMaps & Directions
Fell Pavilion - 6th Floor, room 6A-106 in thePDF icon imageNeurovascular Unit.​​

Hours & Contact

Monday – Friday
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Phone:​ 416 603 5413

What We Do

The TAMS Unit is a day-unit where people with a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or minor stroke are assessed. We see patients who have been deemed to be at a higher risk of stroke. A Transient Ischemic Attack, or TIA, is a temporary blockage of a blood vessel (called an artery) that goes to the brain. When a blockage occurs, blood stops flowing to the brain and a person will have symptoms of a stroke. If the body is able to open the blood vessel quickly enough so that blood flow resumes, the symptoms will go away after a few minutes or hours and there will no permanent damage. A TIA is an alarm going off for the body, and if proper medical and lifestyle changes are made, a major stroke can be prevented.

Our model of care uses a collaborative team approach between many health care practitioners. The TAMS Unit provides a detailed assessment by a stroke nurse practitioner. Our patients will also be seen by a doctor that specializes in stroke (stroke neurologist) to make any further recommendations about their care. During a TAMS Unit visit, we order and arrange medical imaging, diagnostic tests, treatments, and provide education so that patients can avoid unnecessary hospital admissions. Our patients may also be seen by our allied health care specialists if rehabilitation is required.

If you are seen in the emergency department for a suspected TIA or minor stroke, the emergency doctor may refer you to the TAMS Unit. (We only accept referrals from the emergency department at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital.) The emergency doctor will determine if you are a candidate for assessment. We’ll perform a number of tests to narrow down the conditions that put you at a higher risk of stroke and that need specific treatments. Our tests may also confirm there’s no imminent danger.

In the TAMS Unit, we also provide education about stroke and stroke prevention, including lifestyle changes and treatments for stroke risk factors. Our patients continue to get follow-up care through our Stroke Prevention Clinic when they need it.

 Learn more about Our Unit

Learn more about TIAs and our innovative approach to treating patients through our TAMS Unit, located at the Toronto Western Hospital.

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 Stroke Care at Toronto Western Hospital

We’re part of the Ontario Stroke Network and one of 3 designated stroke centres in Toronto. We also introduced Canada’s first Neurovascular Unit, which now has a 20-bed patient ward designed to help people with stroke and neurovascular conditions in the best setting for treatment, as well as the initial stages of recovery. We have advanced brain imaging and other resources to fully assess patients while they are admitted in the PDF icon imageNeurovascular Unit, as well as dedicated nursing and an allied health team to provide excellent care for patients during their recovery.

 

 Signs of Stroke

​Only about half of ordinary people can identify warning signs/symptoms of a stroke. There are five to watch out for. Do you know them? 

  • Weakness – sudden loss of strength or sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg, even if temporary
  • Trouble speaking – sudden difficulty speaking, understanding words or sudden confusion, even if temporary
  • Vision problems – sudden trouble being able to see, even if temporary
  • Headache – sudden severe and unusual headache
  • Dizziness – sudden loss of balance, especially if it happens with any of the other signs/symptoms       
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Call 911 immediately if you experience one of the signs of stroke. Do not lie down or take a nap.​​​​​

 Tests

Some of the following tests may be done during your TAMS Unit visit:

 Health Information

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* These material(s) are also available in other languages.

 

Visit our health information section.