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Speed saves when it comes to stroke

2 minute read
Time to treatment can have a big impact on strokes

Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability, with more than 50,000 new and recurrent strokes occurring nationwide every year.

National Stroke Week will be held from 12-18 September. This year the Stroke Foundation wants us to understand the impact time has on a stroke. A speedy reaction not only influences the treatment path for stroke victims but also their recovery. Most treatments for stroke are time sensitive so it is critical to Think F.A.S.T and Act F.A.S.T.

What is F.A.S.T?

According to the Stroke Foundation, a stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted by a blocked or burst artery. With oxygen-rich blood no longer available to flow through the artery, brain cells quickly die.

Stroke attacks the brain at an alarming rate, with 1.9 million brain cells lost in a single minute and the longer the stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke-related brain damage.

The F.A.S.T test is recommended as an easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke.

FFace – Has their mouth drooped?

AArms – Can they lift both arms?

SSpeech – Is their speech slurred?

TTime – Time is critical. Call 000 NOW.

How will you take action against stroke?

Use this Stroke Week to familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms of stroke so you are prepared to think and act FAST in the unfortunate event that the need arises.

While you're at it, tick off this checklist from the Stroke Foundation, covering simple lifestyle changes we can all adopt to reduce our risk of suffering a stroke:

  • Know your blood pressure: The lower your blood pressure, the lower your stroke risk.
  • Drop the salt: Cut down on takeaway food and don't add salt at the table or when cooking.
  • Eat healthy: Enjoy a variety of foods, especially plant-based foods including fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes and wholegrain breads and cereals.
  • Get Active: Try to exercise regularly. At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week is recommended.
  • Limit your alcohol intake: Stay within recommended limits for drinking alcohol. No more than two standard drinks per day.
  • Be smoke free, quit smoking: Call the Quitline on 13 78 48.

It's also a good idea to book an appointment with your GP to have your blood pressure checked and your risk for type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease assessed to identify these potential issues before it's too late.

For more information, including how to prevent and recognise stroke visit the Stroke Foundation website.

nib foundation is a proud supporter of the National Stroke Foundation, helping fund the My Stroke Journey resource and rollout of a Follow Up Service for NSW stroke survivors and carers. Find out more about these initiatives on the nib foundation website.

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