Act fast to prevent stroke
Early detection and treatment can often mean the difference between life and death for stroke victims.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts, and the brain is damaged in that area. A stroke can kill quickly, and brain damage can paralyse or rob a victim of the ability to speak and think properly.
Over 48,000 Australians suffer strokes every year and this number is set to rise to a staggering 74,000 by the year 2017 if preventative measures are not taken.
One third of all patients that experience a stroke will die in the first 12 months. The degree of reduced function for the remainder is dependent on how quickly their symptoms are recognised.
The longer a stroke goes unrecognised, the more brain cells are lost. It can take years to recover from a debilitating stroke, and many people never fully regain all of their physical and mental abilities.
The National Stroke Foundation has compiled this list to help people recognise symptoms and act quickly:
- 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 blurred or decreased vision in one or both eyes.
- Headache, usually severe and of abrupt onset or unexplained change in the pattern of headaches.
- Difficulty swallowing
Remember: A person having a stroke may not be able to communicate what is happening in order to get help. If you recognise any of these symptoms call an ambulance.
Source: The National Stroke Foundation http://www.strokefoundation.com.au/pages/Default.aspx?PageID=27&id=1