F.A.S.T. heroes save lives

ALL Victorians are being encouraged to learn the common signs of a stroke, with National Stroke Week taking place this week, from September 2 to September 8.

Stroke Foundation CEO, Sharon McGowan said stroke strikes the brain, the human control centre.

“Stroke is always a time-critical medical emergency, but people from all walks of life can come to the rescue by recognising the signs of stroke and calling an ambulance,” Ms McGowan said.

But every day, Victorians are recognised as superheroes, simply by knowing how to recognise a stroke F.A.S.T. and call an ambulance.

Using the F.A.S.T. test involves asking these simple questions:

Face: Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?

Arms: Can they lift both arms?

Speech: Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

Time: is critical. If you see any of these signs, call triple zero (000) straight away.

Eighty percent of strokes will display at least one or more of the F.A.S.T. signs.

Ms McGowan said when stroke strikes, it attacks around 1.9 million brain cells each minute. However, treatments can stop this damage and the more rapidly a stroke can be treated, the better the outcome is likely to be.

“This National Stroke Week, be sure to spread the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke message to your family, friends and colleagues. The next life you save could be your own,” Ms McGowan said.

National Stroke Week is the Stroke Foundation’s annual stroke awareness campaign, with thousands of activities to be held right around the country. For more information, visit www.strokefoundation.org.au/how-you-can-help/stroke-week