As Stroke Awareness Week approaches, the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) has reminded locals about the importance of early stroke diagnosis.
From July 1 2016 to June 30 2018, there were 455 stroke hospitalisations at both Shoalhaven and Milton hospitals.
Nationally, 51,000 strokes occur each year, which equates to almost 1000 per week.
According to the Stroke Recovery Association NSW, stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more man than prostate cancer.
An ISLHD spokesperson said The F.A.S.T. test was an easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke:
- 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 000 straight away.
“F.A.S.T. is recognised internationally and we know that 80 per cent of strokes will show at least one of the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke," the spokesperson said.
Stroke Awareness Week runs from September 3 to 9. On Tuesday, September 4, Shoalhaven Hospital will host free health checks.
The checks will be held in the front foyer from 9am to 3pm in an effort to spread awareness of the F.A.S.T message and knowing the signs of stroke.