HAVING A STROKE
Acting FAST will save a life when having a stroke
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.
WHAT IS 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.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HAVING A STROKE:
The easiest way to recognise the most common signs of stroke is by