Australians urged to learn life-saving signs of stroke following ‘concerning’ data


Australians, including those from Melton and Moorabool, are being urged to familiarise themselves with sings of stroke following new research.

New Stroke Foundation data has revealed that only 62 per cent of Australians know at least one sign of stroke and awareness of one of the most common signs of stroke, facial droop, has dropped.

Stroke Foundation’s Face, Arms, Speech, Time (F.A.S.T) National Awareness Survey found that, compared to last year, Australians’ overall awareness of the stroke signs has stagnated,

while 39 per cent of Australians know that facial droop is a sign of stroke which is one per cent fewer than last year.

Stroke Foundation chief executive Dr Lisa Murphy says Australia can’t afford to be going backwards when it comes to recognising a stroke and is pleading with Australians to learn

the signs.

“This is not the way we’d like to see the data shifting. It’s concerning because when fewer people know the signs of stroke, more lives are at risk,” she said.

“We know that recognising the common signs of stroke saves lives. The faster someone can recognise a stroke, the sooner specialist, time-critical treatment is received. Minutes are the difference between life or death and living well after stroke or having lifelong disability.”

Every year, Stroke Foundation surveys thousands of Australians on their knowledge of the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke. The F.A.S.T. acronym highlights the three most common signs of

stroke – facial droop, inability to lift both arms and slurred speech. The T stands for time as a reminder that there is no time to waste, stroke is a medical emergency. Take action

and call Triple-0 at the first sign of stroke.

“The F.A.S.T. acronym is an easy and effective way to remember the signs of stroke. Just by knowing the signs and recognising a stroke, you could save a life,” Dr Murphy said.

When a stroke strikes, it kills up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute and, in Australia, a first-time stroke occurs every 19 minutes.

“With stroke impacting so many Australians, it is important to learn the signs because it could be your, a loved one’s or a colleague’s life you’re saving.”