Take the challenge this National Stroke Week
(Mon, 14 Sep to Sun, 20 Sep)
More than 3000 activities are expected to be held across the country this National Stroke Week. Activities range from awareness morning teas to displays and talks, personal and team challenges and health checks.
Stroke Week is about raising awareness to prevent stroke in Australia. With community support we will shine a spotlight on stroke to encourage Australians to know the signs of stroke and how to minimise their own risk of stroke. It’s all about health living and getting a regular health check.
Why should you care?
Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability. As demonstrated in the No postcode untouched report, no community is untouched by this terrible disease.
Shockingly, many strokes are preventable. We can come together and shine a spotlight on stroke
A stroke happens when blood supply to the brain is interrupted. Blood is carried to the brain by blood vessels called arteries. Blood contains oxygen and important nutrients for your brain cells. Blood may be interrupted or stop moving through an artery, because the artery is blocked (ischaemic stroke) or bursts (haemorrhagic stroke). When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients, they die. The area of brain damage is called a cerebral infarct.
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. 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
The signs of stroke may occur alone or in combination and they can last a few seconds or up to 24 hours and then disappear.
When symptoms disappear within 24 hours, this episode may be a mini stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA).
If you or someone else experiences the signs of stroke, no matter how long they last, call 000 immediately.
The faster your act, the more of the person you save.