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Think FAST if stroke strikes this Easter

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This Easter the Stroke Foundation is urging Australians to put their health first by being aware of the signs of stroke and taking FAST action when stroke strikes.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said it was tragically common for stroke patients to delay calling an ambulance during holiday periods for fear of disrupting their family’s plans.

“Stroke is a serious medical emergency which requires urgent medical attention. However, too many Australians, particularly older people, ignore the signs or symptoms for fear of being a nuisance to their family and friends,” Ms McGowan said.

“Health professionals tell us there is a marked increase in the number of patients taking too long to get to hospital after suffering a stroke during holiday seasons and sadly, many fall outside the vital treatment window as a result of this delay.

“There are life-saving and disability reducing treatments available for stroke, but they are only effective if you get to hospital quickly. Hospitals stay open right throughout Easter. Delaying seeking emergency medical attention can cost you or your loved one your life.”

Stroke Foundation has a simple acronym to help people remember the signs of stroke:

Face – has their mouth drooped?
Arms – can they raise both of their arms above their head?
Speech – is their speech slurred? Can they understand what you’re saying?
Time – Call triple zero (000) immediately. Do not delay.

Ms McGowan said a person is likely to show at least one of these signs when they were having a stroke. Symptoms may only appear for a short space of time.

“A stroke happens every ten minutes in Australia. Anyone, of any age can suffer a stroke, it happens in an instant and its effects can be devastating,” Ms McGowan said.

“Stroke is a sudden interruption of blood flow to the brain. Brain cells can quickly die without the oxygen that the blood supplies.

“This is why it is so important to get to hospital immediately if you think you are having a stroke because it is possible there may be some brain cells that can survive if you are treated quickly.

“Too many people make the mistake of lying down, calling a family member or waiting to see their GP, when they should be calling an ambulance. We want everyone to understand stroke is a medical emergency, don’t just ‘wait and see’ call 000.

“Learning the FAST message could be the best gift you can give your loved ones this Easter. By thinking FAST and acting fast you might save a life over the holidays,” she said.

More information about the signs of stroke is available at www.strokefoundation.org.au

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(Source: Stroke Foundation)

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Dates

Posted On: 14 April, 2017
Modified On: 14 April, 2017

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