National Stroke Campaign: Fast Response Saves Lives

National Stroke Campaign: Fast Response Saves Lives

16 July 2013

The Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, today announced $2 million for a national stroke campaign that shows people how to recognise signs of stroke and stresses the importance of responding to them fast.

Stroke is the second most common cause of death in Australia, Ms Plibersek said.

But lives can be saved and disability prevented if people get critical treatment in time after having a stroke.

Around 60 per cent of people whove had a stroke dont make it to hospital in time for treatment that can support better recovery and save lives.

Often, thats because they were not able to recognise the symptoms of stroke.

In about seven out of ten cases, failure to act when symptoms arise is the main reason behind stroke treatment delay.

The national stroke campaign will raise awareness of the FAST test to check for stroke.

FAST stands for:

Face - has their mouth drooped?
Arms - can they lift both?
Speech - is it slurred, can they understand you?
Time - is critical. If you see any of these signs, ring 000 straight away.
The message is clear know the signs of stroke and if you see any of them, call 000 immediately, Ms Plibersek said.

There are around 375,000 stroke survivors in Australia.

The campaign will be run by the National Stroke Foundation on TV, radio, internet and in print over the next 12 months.

I also recently announced an innovative new drug for the prevention of stroke, rivoroxaban, would be subsidised for patients through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme at a cost of $450 million. Over 110,000 patients will benefit, Ms Plibersek said.

The effects of stroke range from paralysis or death to speech problems, short term memory loss, loss of coordination or balance, and disability of various other functions.