Fifty per cent of Australians still don’t know the signs of stroke, putting them at serious risk of disability or even death, the Stroke Foundation says.
With National Stroke Week kicking off today, the Foundation is urging Australians to think FAST and learn the signs of stroke before it’s too late.
Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan says Stroke Week is about educating the community that speed saves when it comes to stroke.
“There will be more than 50,000 strokes in Australia this year and sadly many people miss out on accessing life-saving treatment as they don’t get to hospital on time,” McGowan says.
“We want the community to be aware that stroke is always a medical emergency. When you have a stroke, your brain cells start to die at a rate of almost two million per minute.
“Being aware of the signs of stroke and knowing to call 000 as soon as it strikes is crucial in the fight against this terrible disease.
“We need all Australians to get involved by helping us spread this important message this Stroke Week,” she said.
Throughout this week more than 2500 activities are expected to be held across the country. Activities range from awareness morning teas, displays and talks, and health checks.
Throughout the week, all Australians are encouraged to:
- Organise an awareness activity.
- Fundraise for the Stroke Foundation.
- Host a health check.
McGowan says research has shown the stakes are high and that even a 15 minute delay in accessing treatment can rob stroke survivors of a month of healthy life.
“With the community’s support we want to send a vital message to all Australians this Stroke Week: act FAST if you think you or a loved one is having a stroke,’’ McGowan says.
“Too many Australians are unaware that a speedy reaction to stroke could mean the difference between life and death.
“Stroke doesn’t have to be a death sentence, it is treatable but people need to know the signs of stroke and get to hospital fast.
“This Stroke Week we are encouraging community members to get involved and help us spread this life-saving message.
“It is all about bringing people together to have fun, while raising awareness of stroke.”
National Stroke Week runs from September 12 to 18. It is an annual event which aims to raise the awareness of stroke within the community and encourage Australians to take action to prevent stroke.