Melbourne, August 25: National Stroke Week in September is around the corner and this year the Stroke Foundation is calling on the community to protect our brain cells from dying. So learn and share the signs of stroke.

The Stroke Foundation is urging local residents to think FAST and learn the signs of stroke this National Stroke Week.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said this year Stroke Week – September 12-18 was about educating the community that speed saves when it comes to stroke.

“There will be more than 50,000 strokes in Australia this year and sadly many people miss out on accessing life-saving treatment as they don’t get to hospital on time,” Ms McGowan said.

“We want the community to be aware that stroke is always a medical emergency. When you have a stroke, your brain cells start to die at a rate of almost two million per minute.

“Being aware of the signs of stroke and knowing to call 000 as soon as it strikes is crucial in the fight against this terrible disease.

“We need all Australians to get involved by helping us spread this important message this Stroke Week,” she said.

This year more than 2500 Stroke Week activities are expected to be held across the country. Activities range from awareness morning teas, displays and talks, and health checks.

Throughout the week, all Australians are encouraged to:

  • Organise an awareness activity;
  • fundraise for the Stroke Foundation;
  • Host a health check

National Stroke Week participants can choose an activity that best suits them and the Stroke Foundation will provide a free resource pack to assist everyone who registers an event.

Ms McGowan said National Stroke Week activities, whether community-wide or personal would have a real impact on improving the state of stroke.

“With the community’s support we want to send a vital message to all Australians this Stroke Week: act FAST if you think you or a loved one is having a stroke,’’ Ms McGowan said.

“Too many Australians are unaware that a speedy reaction to stroke could mean the difference between life and death.

“Stroke doesn’t have to be a death sentence, it is treatable but people need to know the signs of stroke and get to hospital fast.

“This Stroke Week we are encouraging community members to get involved and help us spread this life-saving message.

“It is all about bringing people together to have fun, while raising awareness of stroke.”

Think FAST this National Stroke Week and raise awareness of stroke. Register your event for free resource packs and information about stroke awareness and help protect your brain cells.

National Stroke Week – an annual event runs from September 12 to 18 to raise awareness of preventing stroke. This year’s theme Speed Saves, focus on the importance of acting fast when stroke strikes.

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