Act­ing FAST will save a life when hav­ing a stroke

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - As­soc Prof Bruce Camp­bell

How can we avoid hav­ing a stroke? In fact, many peo­ple tend to think of hav­ing a stroke as some­thing that hap­pens to peo­ple later in life…’older’ peo­ple. Many of us think we’ve got years be­fore we need to even worry about hav­ing a stroke, right? Wrong. It’s time to know the facts about hav­ing a stroke and take it se­ri­ously. Here are some world­wide facts on hav­ing a stroke:

• Ev­ery two sec­onds, some­one in the world will have a stroke.

• Stroke is the sec­ond most com­mon cause of death in the world.

• Stoke is the cause of around 6.7 mil­lion deaths each year.

• The bur­den of stroke due to ill­ness, dis­abil­ity and early death it causes is set to dou­ble world­wide within the next 15 years. In 2017, the fig­ures for Aus­tralia from The Stroke Foun­da­tion are sim­i­lar:

• Stroke is one of Aus­tralia’s big­gest killers and a lead­ing cause of dis­abil­ity.

• Stroke kills more women than breast can­cer and more men than prostate can­cer.

• There is one stroke oc­cur­ring ev­ery nine min­utes.

• Around 20 strokes each day are hap­pen­ing to Aus­tralians of work­ing age.

Th­ese are not just num­bers but peo­ple who have fam­i­lies, ca­reers, bills to pay and hopes for the fu­ture. The like­li­hood of know­ing some­body who has ex­pe­ri­enced a stroke is high. It may be your grand­fa­ther, mother, friend or even a col­league. Stroke touches so many lives. Its im­pact reaches well be­yond the in­di­vid­ual to their loved ones, many of whom step in and take on a carer role. Stroke is a dev­as­tat­ing dis­ease that at­tacks the hu­man con­trol cen­tre – the brain. It can hap­pen to any­one, at any age and changes lives in an in­stant. But in the 21st cen­tury, stroke is a highly pre­ventable and treat­able dis­ease. The statis­tics do not need to be so bleak. There­fore, it is im­por­tant to know about hav­ing a stroke.


A stroke hap­pens when blood sup­ply to the brain is sud­denly cut off. This hap­pens in two ways:

• when a blood clot stops blood mov­ing through the artery (is­chaemic stroke)

• when the artery bursts (in­trac­ere­bral haem­or­rhage).

Brain cells die quickly, at a rate of up to 1.9 mil­lion a minute, when the blood sup­ply stops. This is why it is vi­tal to seek im­me­di­ate med­i­cal treat­ment when a stroke strikes. Mod­ern treat­ments are time-crit­i­cal. The quicker you get to hos­pi­tal the bet­ter the chance of sur­vival and suc­cess­ful re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion after hav­ing a stroke.


The eas­i­est way to recog­nise the most com­mon signs of stroke is by

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