Take the steps to prevent stroke
NATIONAL Stroke Week serves as a timely reminder to do all we can to prevent the cause of strokes.
This year's theme, 'Every step counts towards a healthy life' emphasises the lifestyle changes to make to reduce the chance of stroke.
Toowoomba Hospital's Geriatric, Adult Rehabilitation and Stroke Service Dr Nisal Gange said strokes were not just limited to the elderly.
"It can happen to people of all ages, so don't take your health for granted, you must look after it," he said.
Dr Gange recommends seeing a GP for a check-up once a year to get your blood pressure checked and have blood samples taken to look out for diabetes and cholesterol.
"A sensible balanced diet and regular moderate exercise can also be very beneficial, so do something that gets you sweating for 30-45 minutes, at least three times a week," Dr Gange said.
"Of course, adequate sleep, at least seven hours but preferably eight hours a night, is also recommended."
Dr Gange said in the event of a suspected stroke the most important thing to do was seek treatment immediately.
"If there are any signs of facial drooping, speech deficits or weakness in the hands or legs you need to get to hospital immediately," he said.
Treatments for stroke sufferers have vastly improved over the past five to 10 years Dr Gange said.
"There are a lot more treatments available now than there were before," he said.
"for example stroke lysis treatment, which involves the use of a clot-busting injection, and can be very effective for certain types of strokes when administered within four-and-a-half hours of the stroke occurring.
"Since 2016 we have also been working in conjunction with the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane to offer a new treatment involving clot retrieval, which involves pulling out a blood clot from the brain, so this is great news for people in regional or remote areas, because it can be done up to 24 hours after the stroke has occurred."
If stroke is suspected call an ambulance and get a hospital as soon as possible.