Strokes attack indiscriminately
Strokes are killing or disabling more than 9000 New Zealanders a year and people like Bronwyn Pepperell are fighting to reduce this statistic.
The experienced senior stroke nurse will be one of two speakers at a positive aging forum later this month.
She will speak about prevention, early detection, treatment and care for stroke victims, while Vicki Martin from the Stroke Foundation will cover rehabilitation after people leave hospital.
Bronwyn says that of that 9000 more than 180 occur in Taranaki with an unexplained jump in numbers in the last year.
The affliction is not confined to older people with more than quarter occurring in the under 65 age group.
Positive aging chairman Lance Girling-Butcher hopes that people of all ages will be interested in hearing the expert’s message.
‘‘Not only are strokes the number one cause of disability and third on the list of killer conditions, they attack people of all ages, devastating not only the victims but their families and friends,’’ Lance said.
Prevention can half these statistics, and early diagnosis significantly reduce the harm.
Pepperell said that if medical intervention happened within a four and a half hour window, those suffering strokes caused by clotting can sometimes make a full recovery and others spend less time in rehabilitation.
The signs and symptoms of a stroke usually come on suddenly and display as a dropping face, numbness of the limbs especially on one side of the body, reduced vision and jumbled speech. If people see these signs they should treat it as an emergency and dial 111.
Pepperell will also talk about how the hospital cares for these people with an experienced team dealing with every aspect of the patient’s needs supported by specialised doctors and nurses.
Both Pepperell and Martin will also itemise key elements in preventing strokes with emphasis on lifestyle, diet, careful monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol.
The forum will be held at the New Plymouth District Council debating chamber on October 17, with the usual shuttle bus running from parking at the race course, arriving for morning tea at 9.30am.
Leader in the fight against crippling strokes, Broywn Pepperell, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist, Acute Stroke Team Taranaki Base Hospital.