Settlement Guide

Settlement Guide: 10 facts about stroke

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A stroke is not a heart attack. A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is suddenly disrupted. Getting urgent medical help is critical to survival and recovery.

1. One in six Australians will suffer from stroke at some point in their lifetime

Stroke survivor
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2. One in three people die within a year of having a stroke

Stroke victim
EPA/Michael Reynolds

3. Stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer

Men and women
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4. 20 per cent of people who experience a stroke are under the age of 55

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5. Men are more likely to suffer a stroke at a younger age

Young stroke victim

6. Blood pressure is one of the most important known risk factors for stroke

High blood pressure is when your blood pressure is over 140/90. This is known as hypertension. Normal blood pressure is around 120/80.
Blood pressure
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7. The FAST test is an easy way to recognise and remember the signs of stroke

Using the FAST test involves asking these simple questions: Face - Check their face. Has their mouth drooped? Arm - Can they lift both arms? Speech - Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you? Time - Time is critical. If you see any of these signs, call 000 straight away.

Courtesy of Stroke Foundation

8. The signs of stroke may occur alone or in combination

It can last a few seconds or up to 24 hours and then disappear. When symptoms disappear within 24 hours, this episode is a mini-stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

Stroke brain scans
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9. Some treatments for stroke must be given within 4.5 hours of the stroke starting or presentation of stroke symptoms

Ambulance emergency

10. Emergency medical treatment is crucial

If you are having a stroke, emergency medical treatment could save your life and can reduce the likelihood of permanent brain damage. Only a doctor can decide whether you are having or have had a stroke.

Emergency department


For more information visit the Stroke Foundation.

Resources are available in eight languages.

If you need an interpreter call the Telephone Interpreting Service on 13 14 50, say the language you need and wait on the line for an interpreter.

Source Stroke Foundation