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Fast action needed for suspected stroke

Fast action needed for suspected stroke
Photo: Fast action needed for suspected stroke
Experts say stroke treatment has progressed, but the public needs to be educated about the need for a fast response.

Australians need to recognise the signs of someone suffering a stroke so they can immediately phone triple zero for help, say experts.

Advances in the treatment of stroke will only be effective if there are more public health programs to improve awareness of the condition and of the importance of a fast response, they said.

Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, Professor Richard Lindley, of the University of Sydney, and Professor Christopher Levi, of Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital, set out the progress made in stroke rehabilitation.

They refer to FAST - Facial droop, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time - the acronym designed to help detect and assist a person having a stroke because of bleeding on the brain.
"The stroke community needs to work quickly to redesign stroke care services and build the workforce of specialists trained in endovascular therapies," they wrote.

"However, none of this will be effective without further public health interventions to improve awareness of stroke and the importance of immediately calling 000 for any suspected stroke patient."

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