Remember FAST for the sake of your loved ones

Stroke is always an emergency.

This is the vital message the Stroke Foundation is reminding Australians, including Wyndham, and calling on everyone to contact triple zero (000) immediately if they suspect a stroke.

Chief Executive Sharon McGowan said that although these are unprecedented times due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we must remember that stroke is still a serious medical emergency.

“Time saved is brain saved,” Ms. McGowan said.

“The sooner you get to the hospital for stroke treatment, the better your chances of a good recovery.

“I know everyone’s daily routines are disrupted, stress levels are increased and people don’t want to put additional strain on the healthcare system, but calling an ambulance at the first sign of a stroke is essential.

“Delaying or failing to seek urgent help for a stroke can result in death or permanent disability.”

One in four people worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime and there is a stroke in Australia every nine minutes. When a stroke occurs, it kills around 1.9 million brain cells per minute, but medical treatment can stop this damage.

Knowing the FAST signs of a stroke can save a life. If you’re home with your family, self-isolating or working remotely and suspect someone is having a stroke, ask these questions:

Face – Check their face. Did their mouths fall?

Arms – Can they raise both arms?

Speech – Is their speech garbled? Do they understand you?

Time – Time is critical. If you see any of these signs, call 000 immediately.

Although stroke affects people of all ages, the likelihood of having a stroke increases as we get older.

Ms McGowan urged Australians to check on elderly relatives and friends regularly by phone, video chat or online and make sure they know the FAST signs of stroke.

“We know that people can take longer to seek treatment in hospital when they don’t want to overwhelm their loved ones. But we must continue to prioritize health in all its forms,” she said.

“The more people who know the FAST signs of stroke and share them in our community, the better.”

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