Every year, about four in 10 people worldwide suffer a stroke, yet many of them do not know what to look out for and how to act fast. Recognizing the warning signs and taking preventive measures, such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, reducing stress, managing chronic conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol, and avoiding smoking, can help save lives.
Often known as ‘brain attacks’, strokes happen when the brain does not get enough oxygen due to either a blocked or ruptured blood vessel in the brain. This leads to severe and lasting physical, emotional, and social impact. Approximately 80% of strokes are caused by preventable factors. In most cases, a stroke is caused by a clot or blockage of the blood vessel that supplies the brain with oxygen. Stroke is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and it is often a severe medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention.
Each year on World Stroke Day, we celebrate and honor stroke survivors, their families and caregivers, and those who work towards the prevention of stroke. The theme for this year’s event is “Together We Are Greater Than Stroke,” focusing on prevention.
The campaign will encourage people to take action by getting informed and reducing the risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, diet, physical activity, and smoking habits. It also highlights the importance of education, training, and support for stroke survivors and their families. The campaign aims to help reduce the burden of stroke by raising awareness, highlighting the need for better preventive care and treatment, and advocating for improvements in health systems.
While a lot is being done to address the effects of stroke and the need for better treatment, it is essential to recognize the symptoms and seek immediate medical attention in the case of an attack. Having a good understanding of the FAST (Face, Arms, Speech) tests can help identify the symptoms of a stroke and make it easier to get the patient to a hospital.
In this episode, co-hosts Mike and David introduce you to the FAST test and talk to stroke survivor and guest from Episode 52, Stacie Broek, about her new interactive AI-enhanced resource for survivors, caregivers, and their families impacted by stroke. You’ll also hear about some of the events happening globally to mark World Stroke Day. If you want to find out more, visit the official website of World Stroke Day here. WSO members will receive a complete campaign toolkit from June to September to help them bring the #GreaterThanStroke message alive in their communities and organizations. This will include a Dropbox folder filled with campaign materials that can be accessed and downloaded in various languages and formats. You can also attend webinars to learn more and get tips on implementing the campaign calls to action.