Stroke is one of Australia’s leading causes of disability and death, affecting more than 50,000 people a year in this country alone. Yet, according to studies, more than 80% of strokes can be prevented. And this is probably one of the reasons why the Stroke Foundation in Australia holds Stroke Week each year – to spread awareness about the disease and foundation itself.

National Stroke Week starts today, 2nd of September, and runs until 8 September, Sunday. This year’s theme is “F.A.S.T Heroes”, in recognition of heroes who have saved lives by being aware of the signs of a stroke and immediately contacted an ambulance for a stroke victim.

F.A.S.T. Heroes, by the way, does refer to how quick these people were to spot the signs of a stroke, but the acronyms also break down to:

F for “Face” – check the patient’s face. It’s typical for the patient’s mouth to droop when they’re experiencing a stroke.

A for “Arms” – see if the patient can lift both arms. Weakness in limbs (arms and legs) –even if it’s just one side of the body, can be observed in stroke victims.

S is for “Speech” – can the patient speak clearly? Slurred speech or dysarthria is common during strokes.

T is for “Time” – Timing is critical. If any of those signs are present in the individual, call emergency services right away.

To encourage more F.A.S.T heroes, and help people understand more about strokes and living with strokes, there will be events all over the country for the entire week.

For instance, St. Mary’s Pharmacy and Mereweather Pharmacy in NSW will be holding health checks, Albany Health in Spencer Park, Western Australia will have an information stall, Hardings Pharmacy in Annerley, Queensland has a morning/afternoon tea planned, and there’s a choir concert that will be held with a Living with Aphasia talk and a Stroke Foundation display and talk that will be held in Logan Central, Queensland.

These are just a few examples of what’s going on for National Stroke Week, but you can find out more by visiting the National Stroke Week events page.

Having interacted with stroke patients professionally as experienced nurses, and in our personal lives through family and friends, your friends at Kalinga Health are keenly aware of the importance of understanding stroke. As such, we encourage all nurses, carers, and family caregivers –everyone, really- to drop by any of the  National Stroke Week events so that we’re all equipped to give support to our patients and loved ones in case we suspect a stroke, as well as for after-stroke care.

It helps to be informed so that we’re able to respond to emergencies ably and with a sound mind, and give the appropriate care to our stroke patients.

We hope to see you there!

Kalinga Health connects you with the appropriate carer for your or your loved one’s needs.

Got more questions? Contact us today!