Health News

NATIONAL STROKE WEEK SEPTEMBER 10TH - SEPTEMBER 16TH

In 2012 the theme for National Stroke Week is focused on encouraging people to understand their stroke risk.

What is a stroke? A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. Blood is carried to the brain by blood vessels called arteries. Blood contains oxygen and important nutrients for your brain cells. Blood may be interrupted or stop moving through an artery, because the artery is blocked or bursts. When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients they die.

Brain cells usually die shortly after the stroke starts. However, some can last a few hours, if the blood supply is not cut off completely. If the blood supply can be returned in the minutes and hours after the stroke, some of these cells may recover. If not, they will also die.

A transient ischaemic attack (TIA) happens when there is a temporary interruption to the blood supply to the brain. It causes the same symptoms as a stroke, but these go away completely within 24 hours.

Even though symptoms may go away it is also important to get treatment as quickly as possible by calling 000.

1 in 6 people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime - do you know your stroke risk?

THERE ARE 6 STEPS PEOPLE CAN TAKE TO REDUCE THE RISK AND THE DANGER OF STROKE:

  1. Know your personal risk factors: high blood pressure, diabetes and high blood cholesterol
  2. Be physically active and exercise regularly
  3. Avoid obesity by keeping to a healthy diet
  4. Limit alcohol consumption
  5. Avoid cigarette smoke. If you smoke, seek help to stop now
  6. Learn to recognise the warning signs of stroke and act FAST.

The FAST test is an easy way to recognise and remember the signs of stroke. Using the FAST test involves asking three simple questions:

  • Face - check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms - Can they lift both arms?
  • Speech - Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  • Time - Time is critical. If you see any of these signs, call 000 straight away.

For more information and other signs of stroke go to: www.strokefoundation.com.au

Thank you

Jenny Hill
College Nurse

Source: National Stroke Foundation