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The 10-minute assessment that could save your life


National Stroke Week (8–14 August) is a timely reminder for Aussies to both recognise the warning signs and take preventative action says national Pharmacy group

Think F.A.S.T advises Stroke Foundation

A stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and when it happens it can attack up to 1,900,000 million brain cells per minute. However, more than 80 per cent of strokes can be prevented by managing stroke risk and living a healthy lifestyle.

Marking National Stroke Week (8-14 August), Australia’s leading community pharmacy network, Blooms The Chemist, is encouraging all Australians to assess their stroke risk and be aware of the warning signs.

According to research 27,428 Australians experienced stroke for the first time in their lives in 2020, which equates to one stroke every 19 minutes. Without education and the support of healthcare services, by 2050, it is predicted the number of first-ever strokes experienced by Australians annually will increase to 50,600, or one stroke every 10 minutes.

Melanie Moses, Blooms The Chemist Pharmacy Owner, emphasises just how important it is for people to take 10 minutes out of their busy schedules to get a stroke assessment and minimise the risk.

“One of the many services Blooms The Chemist offers is a Stroke Risk Assessment. The process is simple with the Pharmacist measuring the patient’s blood pressure and asking a series of lifestyle, family history and age-related questions to assess the overall risk of a stroke. Early intervention is key to minimising that risk,” she says.

“We have seen people of all ages and all walks of life experience a stroke, which is why we are urging all Australians to spare the time to undergo a quick assessment. This is also an essential part of our commitment to providing our community with exceptional healthcare services.”

The Stroke Foundation has identified that 40 per cent of Australians do not recognise any of the signs of stroke, and therefore do not act quick enough to seek medical help. Blooms The Chemist wants to educate and remind Australians of the most common signs of a stroke by thinking F.A.S.T:

  • Face; check their face, has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms; 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.

“If people have greater understanding and identify the early signs of a stroke and seek immediate medical attention, this could be lifesaving or significantly change the trajectory of its impact,” continues Ms Moses.

Most strokes are preventable because they are associated with lifestyle-related risk factors. However, there are some risk factors that you cannot do anything about, such as family, history, age, gender, and ethnic background.

“We simply say to our customers that if you are unsure of your risks of experiencing a stroke, please come into your local Blooms The Chemist pharmacy or talk to your GP. A conversation and a deeper understanding of the potential causes may reduce the chances of having a stroke,” Ms Moses adds.

Blooms The Chemist offers a free Stroke Risk Assessment that takes less than 10 minutes and is an initial step toward stroke risk prevention. After that consultation, if there are any concerns the patient will be asked to visit the local GP immediately.

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