New survey shows regional residents more able to recognise stroke signs

Jacob Morgan-de LaineAlbany Advertiser
Stroke Foundation CEO Sharon McGowan.
Camera IconStroke Foundation CEO Sharon McGowan. Credit: Supplied

A new survey by the Stroke Foundation has found people living in regional WA are more likely to recognise the signs of stroke than their city counterparts.

In a significant improvement from last year’s survey, 33 per cent of regional West Australians knew none of the signs of a stroke compared to 40 per cent last year.

This is compared to 42 per cent of Perth residents who say they do not know the common signs of stroke.

Stroke Foundation chief executive officer Sharon McGowan said while it was promising to see further awareness about the signs of stroke, more work must be done to ensure every Australian recognised the signs.

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“Unfortunately, regional Australians are 17 per cent more likely to have a stroke than their metropolitan counterparts, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 1.5 times more likely to die from stroke than non-Indigenous Australians,” Ms McGowan said.

“More than 80 per cent of strokes display at least one of the F.A.S.T signs of stroke, that’s why we need to ensure someone in every home and workplace can recognise those key F.A.S.T signs and call an ambulance as soon as possible.”

Ms McGowan said every improvement in awareness, no matter how small, had an impact.

“While these may seem like small increases on paper, that’s tens of thousands of people who now know what a stroke looks like and will react quickly by calling an ambulance,” she said.

Stroke Foundation’s No Postcode Untouched report (2020) found an average of 3047 people living with stroke in the O’Connor electorate.

In addition, there were about 32,295 people in the O’Connor electorate living with high blood pressure and 12,494 living with high cholesterol, which are the two most modifiable risks factors of stroke.

“If you recognise a stroke, you can take the vital first step in getting a person, often a loved one, the emergency medical help they need,” Ms McGowan said.

“This provides the best chance of a good outcome.”

Signs of Stroke:

F-Facial droop.

A-Arms, The inability to lift both arms.

S-Slurred Speech.

T-Time, stroke requires time-critical emergency treatment.

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