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

 

Free Diving: William Trubridge Breaks World Record

With just a single breath, New Zealand free diver William Trubridge has successfully broken his own unassisted free dive world record of 101 metres. More>>

ALSO:

RLWC 2017 Draw: New Zealand Set For A Festival Of Rugby League

New Zealand Rugby League fans will have the chance to see the Kiwis in action against the best in the Pacific region for the Rugby League World Cup 2017, as announced today at the Official Tournament Draw. More>>

ALSO:

Non-Pokemon News: Magical Park A Safer Augmented Reality For Younger Audiences

Since May, Wellington City Council has been trialling a new app, Magical Park, in collaboration with the game’s New Zealand developer Geo AR Games, in parks around the city. Magical Park uses GPS technology to get users moving around the park to play within a set boundary. More>>

'Erroneous': Pokemon App Makers On Huge Privacy Flaw

We recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user's Google account... More>>

ALSO:

Te Wiki O Te Reo: Te Reo Māori Is For All New Zealanders — Minister

Minister for Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell welcomes the start of Māori Language Week today and invites all New Zealanders to give speaking te reo Māori a go. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news