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Image - Stroke Foundation Australia

FAST stroke awareness

FAST stroke awareness

Image - Stroke Foundation Australia

Mallee in top 20 for stroke hotspots

The Stroke Foundation is urging residents in the Mallee to be aware of and learn the F.A.S.T. (Face. Arms. Speech. Time) signs of stroke.

It comes as figures from the organisation indicate the federal electorate of Mallee is ranked 20 out of Australia’s top 20 hotspots for stroke, with 3,500 residents living with the effects.

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) immediately.

Stroke Foundation Victorian State Manager Eamonn O’Toole said these numbers were incredibly concerning as the federal electorate division of Mallee was a stroke hot spot.

An estimated 208 new strokes were expected to be experienced by the people of Mallee this year alone.

“The first step in ensuring better outcomes from stroke is getting to hospital quickly, and that means recognising the F.A.S.T. signs and calling triple zero (000) immediately,’’ Mr O’Toole said.

“When a stroke strikes the brain, it kills up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute, but quick treatment can stop this damage. Time saved in calling an ambulance and accessing treatment for stroke is brain saved.”

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Swan Hill resident, Lorraine Taylor, is a survivor of stroke.

This year marks 30 years since Lorraine Taylor from Swan Hill had a stroke.

At 48 years of age Lorraine was having a cup of tea with a close friend at home, when she had the sudden onset of vomiting and pain in her head. A few hours later her husband came home from work and put her to bed suspecting Lorraine had gastro. When Lorraine didn’t get any better after a few hours he called the ambulance.

Lorraine was taken to Swan Hill hospital, before being transferred to St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne when stroke was finally diagnosed.

Following the stroke, Lorraine was left with paralysis on one side of her body and partially lost her eyesight.

However, Lorraine through sheer determination and persistence managed to make a good recovery and achieved her goal of traveling around Australia.

- (Source: The Stroke Foundation)

“By learning the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke, you could save the life of a friend, family member or neighbour,” Lorraine said.

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