Stroke is Australia’s second biggest killer, resulting in more than 8000 deaths per year, more than 35,000 hospitalisations, and over 25,000 hospitalisations for rehabilitation care associated with stroke.
A stroke is the result of an artery supplying blood to the brain either suddenly becoming blocked, or beginning to bleed. As a result the brain begins to die, and sufferers have their can suddenly experience impairment of their speaking, thinking, movement, and communication.
While suffering a stroke, almost two million brain cells die every minute. If the stroke event continues for one hour, something in the region of 3.5 years’ worth of brain cells that would be lost in the normal course of ageing are lost.
It is absolutely paramount that a stroke is diagnosed early, and that treatment begin as soon as possible.
So how do you recognise the symptoms?
The following advice is issued by the National Stroke Foundation:
A simple acronym, FAST, provides shorthand for a quick test to determine whether someone is having a stroke.
Additionally, stroke sufferers could experience a sudden severe headache, and difficulty swallowing.
While waiting for the ambulance, these are the important things to that you can/shouldn’t do:
If you’d like more information about stroke at hand, the National Stroke Foundation Australia has made a smartphone app, called Think FAST, available for iPhone and Windows phone.
Knowledge of stroke symptoms, and the experience of what it feels like is crucial not only for patients, but also medical staff. In Canada there has been some work with virtual reality headsets to make a ’stroke simulator’, providing a visual and aural experience from the point of view of a stroke sufferer.
The simulator also offers a look at post-stroke experience, and the work done with physiotherapists, friends, family and caregivers. All of this while giving you the sense of the sufferer being trapped inside their own body, a feeling that is all too real.
Have you had an experience of being first on-hand to help a stroke sufferer? Does the information