Darling Downs Health is marking National Stroke Week by raising awareness of the risk factors and signs of stroke and encouraging all staff and community members to be a FAST hero.
FAST stands for Face, Arms, Speech and Time. These are the important signs to look for in a person having a stroke.
A stroke is a serious medical emergency that occurs when blood cannot supply oxygen and important nutrients to cells in the brain. A stroke can happen when a blood clot or cholesterol plaque blocks a blood vessel, or a blood vessel leaks or breaks.
National Stroke Week is held annually from 2 to 8 September to raise awareness of the signs and prevention of stroke. This year the theme is “FAST heroes”. “
This theme is recognising the people who have spotted the signs of stroke early and called an ambulance straight away, potentially saving a life,” Nurse Navigator Stroke Unit Mr Tim Richardson said.
“It is very important you call an ambulance at the first sign of a stroke as the longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater chance of brain damage.”
Using the FAST test involves asking these questions:
• FACE: has their mouth drooped?
• ARMS: Can they lift both arms?
• SPEECH: Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
• TIME: If you see any of these signs call an ambulance straight away. Time is critical.
The Stroke Unit at Toowoomba Hospital is displaying educational resources in the foyer of the Emma Web Building during stroke week. “We are also focusing on raising awareness for leading a healthy lifestyle to reduce your risk of having a stroke,” Mr Richardson said.
“Alarmingly more than 80 per cent of strokes can be prevented, and it can happen at any age. You can reduce your risk of having a stroke by making time for a health check, eating well, staying active, consuming alcohol in moderation and quit smoking.
“By having regular health checks your doctor can monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol, manage your type 2 diabetes and check your atrial fibrillation and your pulse.”
For more information about stroke visit www.strokefoundation.org.au
Acting Senior Media Officer
Media, Communication and Engagement
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