Most Brisbane residents dont recognise key stroke sign

Stroke Foundation

New Stroke Foundation data has found that more than two million Brisbane residents are unable to recognise one of the key signs of stroke which commonly shows up when the brain is under attack.

The Foundation’s most recent annual F.A.S.T. National Awareness Survey shows that only nine per cent of Brisbane residents are aware that inability to lift both arms is a sign of stroke – marginally up from eight per cent on the previous year.

“Inability to lift both arms is one of the most common signs of stroke but it has the least awareness and we need to change this. We know from the National Stroke Audit, close to 60% of stroke patients are arriving to hospital with this indicator of stroke so it’s concerning that most Brisbane residents don’t know it’s a sign,” Stroke Foundation Interim Executive Director Stroke Services and Research, Kelvin Hill, says.

The F.A.S.T. acronym highlights the three most common signs of stroke (face, arms, speech). The T stands for time as a reminder that there is no time to waste, stroke is a medical emergency and always a 000 call.

“Knowing the signs of stroke is a crucial first step in receiving emergency treatment and increasing the chances of surviving and living well after stroke. By knowing the signs, you recognise a stroke sooner, call an ambulance sooner, and get emergency medical treatment sooner.” Mr Hill said.

More than 5,300 first-time strokes will be experienced by Queenslanders this year so Stroke Foundation is urging residents to be prepared and to know what stroke looks like when it strikes.

“Strokes don’t have to be a death sentence. Something as simple as knowing the F.A.S.T. acronym saves lives.”

Stroke Foundation’s aim is for every Queenslander to know the F.A.S.T acronym and to understand the importance of calling an ambulance immediately when stroke strikes.

The organisation is calling on the Queensland Government to help do this by investing in a F.A.S.T. Community Education program.

“Investing long-term in education is a proven and effective way to lift awareness. We know our F.A.S.T awareness program works; we’ve seen it succeed in other states like regional New South Wales where awareness of stroke signs lifted by 20 per cent. We want to see that improvement across Queensland,” Mr Hill said.

“Unfortunately, Queensland is one of four states and territories that are yet to fund a F.A.S.T awareness education campaign but we’re hopeful the state government will see value in this education program and invest in a generational improvement in the health of its people.”

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