Treatment of the unknown patient: insights from acute stroke

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When an unidentified patient who cannot communicate presents with symptoms and signs suggesting an acute stroke, the decision to thrombolyse is a particular challenge. In a time-pressured environment, clinicians need clear thought processes for diagnosis and treatment. Ethical considerations, diagnosis, identity and previous history, contraindications, time of symptom onset (EDICT) can help decision-making in this situation.

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