Letters to the editor

PIC OF THE DAY: @spiritquestwithgiraffe explores Drawing Room Rocks. Submit entries via nicolette.pickard@fairfaxmedia.com.au

PIC OF THE DAY: @spiritquestwithgiraffe explores Drawing Room Rocks. Submit entries via nicolette.pickard@fairfaxmedia.com.au

The pressure is on

I would sincerely like to thank all the local residents who took part in Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check this May and June, making it a huge success.

During the campaign a record 63,211 checks were delivered by Stroke Foundation in partnership with Priceline Pharmacy across the country.

With your support, we far exceeded last year’s tally of 56,000 health checks.

Disturbingly, one in three participants was found to have high blood pressure, which is a key risk factor for stroke.

The results came as a wake-up call to many, as high blood pressure often has no symptoms.

Those found to have high blood pressure and an increased stroke risk were referred onto their doctor for advice on lowering their blood pressure, reducing their risk of stroke and improving their overall health.

Stroke kills more women than breast cancer, more men than prostate cancer and leaves thousands with an ongoing disability.  Stroke attacks the brain, the human control centre, impacting both physical and mental abilities.

It happens in an instant, changing the lives of the survivor and their loved ones forever.

There is one stroke in Australia every nine minutes.

However it doesn’t have to be this way, stroke is largely preventable.

There are many things we can all do to help protect ourselves from stroke, like managing our blood pressure, getting more active, maintaining a healthy diet, stopping smoking and reducing our alcohol consumption.

Thanks to our incredible supporters, more Australians are aware of their stroke risk than ever before. But the work doesn’t stop here – it is our mission to prevent, treat and beat stroke.

With your help can continue to run free community health checks to identify Australians at risk of stroke and save lives. If we can reduce high blood pressure we will have a direct and lasting impact on the rate of stroke in this country.

Together we can also take the battle to a higher level by demanding our state and federal politicians commit to a funded national action plan to address the prevention and treatment of stroke.

Take the opportunity to see what you can do to help today by visiting www.strokefoundation.org.au

S. McGowan, Stroke Foundation

Surgery made simple

Fabulous resource: Surgery specific, patient specific pre-op directions rather than taking guidance from family, friends and acquaintances.

Sadly, the older one becomes, the more newsworthy 'ailments' become.

Surgery? My, that's real news! Then advice comes from all sorts of places, much of it second hand or hearsay. 

Internet searches can open a minefield of “expert advice”. 

It's not just the elderly who are keen to share their “knowledge”.

For many, upcoming surgery is really scary, anxiety kicks in and not all instructions from the doctors are understood and remembered.

A pre-op instruction sheet can be misplaced amongst bills and other paperwork. 

Having a specific magazine as backup is less likely to be lost, and easier for those who do not use app technology.

On blood thinners? Make sure you have followed those instructions carefully. Failure to do so usually means automatic removal from that day's surgery list.

Failure to give your answer truthfully or just guessing your answer can cause serious operative complications. The savings, both to the length of waiting lists and in dollar values should be significant.

That the app has emerged from our local university is highly commendable: Innovation in Operation!

J. Nicholson, Vincentia