Did you know an Australian will have a stroke every 10 minutes? The risk of death or brain damage caused by a stroke increases the longer it takes to get emergency care, so it’s important to be educated on how to act quickly if someone you know is having a stroke.
The home doctor experts at House Call Doctor have all the information you need to know.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or stops moving through an artery. When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients from the blood, they can die or become damaged. There are two main ways a stroke can happen:
- Ischaemic stroke which is when a blood clot or cholesterol plaque blocks a blood vessel
- Haemorrhagic stroke which is when a blood vessel leaks or breaks.
What symptoms should I look out for?
A stroke is always an medical emergency. The Stroke Foundation recommends using the F.A.S.T. test to easily remember the common signs and symptoms of stroke.
Face – Check their face. Has their mouth dropped?
Arms – Can they lift both arms?
Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
Time – Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.
Other signs of stroke include:
- Loss of vision, sudden blurring or decreased vision in one or both eyes
- Weakness or numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg
- Difficulty speaking or understanding
- Difficulty swallowing.
What to do when someone is experiencing a stroke?
If you or someone else is experiencing any signs of stroke, call triple 000 immediately. Once the ambulance arrives, paramedics will ask you a number of questions before taking you to a stroke unit or general hospital ward.
There are some stroke risk factors that you can reduce to help prevent stroke such as:
- Making time to get regular health checks for stroke risk factors
Take charge of your own health by living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.