Boosting F.A.S.T awareness across ACT

Stroke Foundation

A new partnership between Stroke Foundation and the ACT Health Directorate aims to reduce stroke numbers and better educate the community on the most common signs of stroke.

At present 37 per cent of ACT residents do not know the main signs of stroke, which are facial droop, an inability to lift both arms, and slurred speech. The signs and the reminder to seek help quickly make up the F.A.S.T acronym (Face, Arms, Speech, Time), which Stroke Foundation promotes.

The new three-year contract will deliver specialist F.A.S.T education programs to increase community awareness about stroke. Healthcare stakeholders will also work alongside GPs to promote risk factors and management of those at risk of stroke.

Stroke Foundation National Manager Stroke Treatment Kelvin Hill says the ACT Government’s willingness to invest in the F.A.S.T education program shows it is committed to reducing the impact stroke has on ACT residents.

“When a stroke strikes, it attacks up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute. Quick action to call an ambulance can mean the difference between life and death, or can mean severe disability is avoided,” Mr Hill said.

“The first step to ensuring better outcomes from stroke is getting to hospital quickly, and that means recognising the F.A.S.T. signs and calling triple zero (000) straight away. The more people who know the F.A.S.T. message, the better. Please learn it and share it with your friends, family, and colleagues.”  

“Being F.A.S.T could save a life.”

Almost 400 Canberrans will experience a stroke for the first time this year, but Mr Hill says Stroke Foundation data indicates less than a third will arrive at hospital in time to receive life-saving treatment.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith says it’s hoped the new partnership will empower the community to recognise the signs of stroke, leading to better health outcomes.

“The ACT Government is proud to be a part of this new initiative which builds on the long running and highly important relationship we have with Stroke Foundation,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“We know many strokes are preventable, so it’s important we all play a role in reducing the statistics.

“If we can work with our healthcare professionals and members of the community to make sure everyone is aware of the F.A.S.T signs of stroke, we can reduce the impact of stroke across the ACT.”

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