FAST action on stroke in South Australia

March 07, 2018

Stroke Foundation has today welcomed South Australian Labors’ commitment, if elected, to deliver a $240,000 boost to raise awareness of stroke.

Health Minister Peter Malinauskas made the announcement, saying a re-elected Labor Government will partner with the Stroke Foundation to provide F.A.S.T. education to reduce stroke and speed up treatment across the state.

Stroke Foundation South Australian State Manager Jonine Collins said the campaign would build on work already done to improve access to stroke treatment in the state and had the potential to save lives.

“Stroke kills more men than prostate cancer, more women than breast cancer and leaves thousands with an ongoing disability,’’ Ms Collins said.

“This year alone it is estimated 5000 strokes will be experienced by South Australians.

“Yet it doesn’t need to be this way, stroke can be prevented, it can be treated, and it can be beaten.

“When a stroke does occur, the best outcomes are achieved when treatment is received quickly. Too often treatment is delayed due to a lack of awareness about the signs and symptoms of stroke.

“South Australian Labors’ commitment, if elected, will go a long way to raising awareness of stroke and ensuring more South Australians are accessing the right treatment, at the right time and are able to recover from stroke,’’ she said.

Ms Collins said the F.A.S.T. test involved asking these questions:

  • 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.

“We want someone in every South Australian household to know the signs of stroke. We know this will make a difference,’’ Ms Collins said.

When a stroke strikes it destroys brain cells at a rate of up to 1.9 million a minute. Time saved in accessing appropriate treatment results in brain saved.

In the lead up to the March 17 state election, Stroke Foundation is standing with survivors and their families, health professionals and researchers to call on the State Government to make SA Great and deliver a plan for stronger stroke care.

“State Government investment has delivered results. Adelaide residents have access to some of the best time-critical stroke treatment in the country,” Ms Collins said.

“Now we must ensure these treatments are maximised and South Australians living in the rest of the state have the same access.

“The next State Government must take these initiatives further to stem the tide of this devastating disease.

“It is time for action and a cross party approach is needed to ensure all South Australians have the opportunity to live well after stroke,” she said.

Key facts about stroke in South Australia:

  • 67 percent of eligible patients currently arrive outside the critical 4.5 hour window for clot-busting (thrombolysis) treatment.
  • 20 percent use of clot busting treatment compared to 13 percent nationally.
  • 85 percent of patients receive stroke unit care compared to 69 percent nationally.
  • Only 2 out of 7 services routinely utilise best practice clinical guidelines.
  • Increased risk of repeat hospitalisation from poor home transitioning planning:
    39 percent of stroke patients have no written care plan, 57 percent insufficient post-rehabilitation information, 51 percent no risk factor medication

For more

Stroke Foundation election platform