Do you know the tell-tale signs of a stroke?

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - HEALTH - VIWE NDONGENI

MARIA Mor­ris, 53, from Mitchells Plain woke up one night to go to the toi­let and sud­denly fell.

Af­ter a few min­utes of try­ing to stand up and not be­ing able to, she crawled back to bed.

But when she woke up she re­alised that she’d had a stroke.

“When we woke up in the morn­ing, the first thing my hus­band said was whether I had no­ticed that I had a stroke? He told me that one side of my face drooped which was very alarm­ing,” said Mor­ris.

Ac­cord­ing to the Heart and Stroke Foun­da­tion South Africa, 10 peo­ple in South Africa have a stroke ev­ery hour.

To­day (October 29), the world com­mem­o­rates World Stroke Day and the start of Stroke Aware­ness Week which takes place from yes­ter­day un­til Satur­day .

Health cam­paign­ers and medics of­ten use this time to call on peo­ple to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the signs and symp­toms of a stroke.

Mor­ris, who is a housewife, said when she had a stroke it changed her life. She had to spend two months in a hos­pi­tal and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre.

What made it less stress­ful was the sup­port from her hus­band, Ge­orge Mor­ris, who is also a stroke sur­vivor.

“I felt de­pressed all the time, I cried most of the time be­cause my face had changed. Now I have to walk with a walk­ing stick. For an in­de­pen­dent per­son like me it came as a big ad­just­ment.

“If it wasn’t for the help that I had re­ceived from pro­fes­sion­als, I wouldn’t be able to walk again,” said Mor­ris.

Western Cape Health

MEC, No­mafrench Mbombo said: “Stroke is the lead­ing cause of dis­abil­ity in South Africa... more than 400 South Africans suf­fer from a stroke daily.

“Many sur­vivors are left dis­abled and one third of th­ese sur­vivors are at risk of hav­ing a sec­ond stroke within a year,” she said.

Main­tain­ing a healthy and dis­ci­plined lifestyle is the best pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sure for a stroke.

Ge­orge Mor­ris, 50, said he had had to make lifestyle changes af­ter they both ex­pe­ri­enced a stroke. “We had to change the way we eat and make it more healthy to avoid us hav­ing a stroke,” he said.

Dr Anchen Laub­scher, med­i­cal di­rec­tor of Net­care Hos­pi­tal group, said when it comes to a pos­si­ble case of stroke, peo­ple should think “fast”.

When in doubt, peo­ple can use the acro­nym FAST, which can help you to re­mem­ber what symp­toms to look out for and what to do in the event of a stroke.

F – Face droop­ing – fa­cial mus­cles are weak, of­ten caus­ing one side of the face to droop.

A – Arm or leg weak­ness – the per­son may feel weak in one or both of their arms or legs and may feel numb on one side of their body. Limbs may also have poor co-or­di­na­tion with dif­fi­culty walk­ing or standing up.

S – Speech dif­fi­culty – the per­son may slur words, use words in­cor­rectly or not be able to speak.

T – Time to call emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices.

Think and act fast, say medics and prac­ti­tion­ers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.