Gibraltar Stroke Awareness Event, 18th November 2017
Several stroke patients, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and the health promotion team joined to deliver a stroke awareness event this November. A wealth of information was available, varying from the identification of a stroke to rehabilitation and life after stroke.
Stroke is a medical emergency, it occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. The quicker a person receives treatment the less severe any permanent damage will be. It is important that we are all able to identify a stroke, and call 190 for an ambulance immediately.
Identifying a stroke
The word FAST guides symptom identification:
Face – the face may droop on one side, or the person may not be able to smile.
Arms – the person may not be able to lift both arms equally or report numbness in their limbs on one side.
Speech – their speech may be slurred, they may be able to speak but not make any sense, or they may be completely unable to speak despite appearing to be awake.
Time – you must dial 190 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.
Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent stroke, which involves:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Getting plenty of physical activity
- Not smoking; and
- Drinking alcohol in moderation
Any medication given for conditions that increase your risk of stroke should be taken as prescribed; for example having high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes.
Several specialists may be involved with rehabilitation, including physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, dieticians, specialist nurses and doctors. Encouragement is given to participate in the rehabilitation process and work with the care team during recovery.
Various leaflets were available at the campaign, including the following by the Stroke Association: