Last week was National Stroke Week in Australia,and It is a timely time to point out that Australians will suffer more than half a million strokes in the next ten years, also:
- One in three people die within a year of having a stroke.
- Stroke kills more women than breast cancer.
- Almost one in five people who experience a stroke are under the age of 55.
- Men are more likely to suffer a stroke and at a younger age.
- In 2013, Australians suffered around 50,000 new and recurrent strokes – that’s one stroke every 10 minutes.
- Stroke is Australia’s second biggest killer after heart disease.
Got your attention?
The symptoms of a stroke can occur suddenly and anywhere, and your ability to recognise those symptoms in others, could be the difference between them suffering long term damage or not.
Would you know how to respond if someone you were with showed the symptoms of a stroke?
Most people I have asked that question of over the past week, come up with a blank look on their face, so below I have put together some simple steps to help identify the signs of a stroke .
A leading neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can reverse the effects of a stroke totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognised, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough as most people don’t recognise the symptoms.
RECOGNISING A STROKE
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognise the symptoms of a stroke.
The National Stroke Foundation recommends the F.A.S.T. test as an easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke.
Using the F.A.S.T. test involves asking these simple questions:
Face Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
Arms Can they lift both arms?
Speech Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
Time Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.
A stroke is always a medical emergency. If you recognise the signs of stroke call 000.
A stroke is not a heart attack. A stroke happens when the supply of blood to the brain is suddenly interrupted. Some strokes are fatal while others cause permanent or temporary disability.
The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke related brain damage. Emergency medical treatment soon after symptoms begin improves the chance of survival and successful rehabilitation.
Facial weakness, arm weakness and difficulty with speech are the most common symptoms or signs of stroke, but they are not the only signs. Other signs of stroke may include one, or a combination of:
- Weakness or numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg on either or both sides of the body
- Difficulty speaking or understanding
- Dizziness, loss of balance or an unexplained fall
- Loss of vision, sudden blurring or decreased vision in one or both eyes
- Headache, usually severe and abrupt onset or unexplained change in the pattern of headaches
- Difficulty swallowing
I hope you never have to use this information [First Name] , but I strongly suggest you learn these and pass this onto your work colleagues, family and friends..
Yours in health,