News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Awareness of stroke symptoms important

Awareness of stroke symptoms important

3 April 2014

MidCentral Health is encouraging people to learn more about stroke; ahead of Stroke Awareness Week which runs from 7-13 April.

Strokes are the third most frequent cause of death in New Zealand, accounting for about 2500 deaths each year. It doesn’t just impact older people either, with 10 percent of deaths occurring in those aged under 65. It is also the leading cause of long-term disability.

One-third of new stroke patients (700 per 1,000,000) die each year, and less than half recover and regain their independence. It is important to identify risk factors and causes of stroke in order to take steps toward prevention. Primary prevention addresses all measures for avoiding a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Prevention includes blood pressure lowering, cholesterol reduction, smoking cessation, and antiplatelet therapy (to help prevent blood clots).

A stroke can either result from a brain bleed or from a blocked vessel in the brain. Brain bleeds can present with an abrupt onset of a severe headache (like no headache ever experienced before), accompanied by vomiting and neck stiffness.

However, more often strokes present with one or more symptoms highlighted below.

To help prevent the deaths and ongoing disabilities that result from strokes, the Stroke Foundation of New Zealand has devised a quick check to recognise stroke symptoms.

Using the FAST check, people are encouraged to look at the:
Face – smile see if one side of the mouth is drooping
Arms – raise both arms and see if one side is weak
Speech – try speaking. Is it possible, and are words jumbled or slurred?
Time – act fast, any lost time could mean lost brain function.

The faster people act when a stroke is taking place, the better. For some strokes thrombolytic treatment (breaking the clot down) is a potential treatment in the first few hours.

MidCentral Health neurologist Dr Ivan Iniesta and clinical nurse specialist acute stroke service Imogen Watson are urging people to learn the symptoms of a stroke, and to take preventative measures.

“Time is very important when someone is suffering a stroke, and if you don’t know the symptoms then it will take longer for them to get medical care. This is why it is so important that everyone is aware of what a stroke looks like. People should also make sure that they keep their blood pressure low, as this is a major cause of strokes.

“It is a common misconception that strokes are not preventable, and come from nowhere. Leading a healthy lifestyle with exercise, healthy eating, limiting alcohol and quitting smoking can all help prevent strokes from occurring. These are all everyday activities that have benefits for your entire body.”

The longer it takes for such potentially beneficial treatment to be given the larger the brain damage is likely to be. Immediate contact with emergency services should be made in case of any of the above (FAST) symptoms. Remember that ‘time is brain’.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

August 4: Centenary Of New Zealand Entering The First World War

PM John Key: I move, that this House recognise that on the 4th of August 2014, we will mark the centenary of New Zealand entering the First World War... More>>

ALSO:

Cyclists Net First NZ Gold

New Zealand won a gold meal and two bronzes on the first day of the Commonwealth Games. There was joy and heartbreak in an incredibly full day of sport. Here's how the New Zealanders fared. More>>

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news