Stroke

  1. Person’s appearance, bodily functions, speech and sight may be affected.
  2. Think FAST. (Face: Is there weakness on one side of their face? Arms: Can they raise both arms? Speech: Is their speech easily understood? Time: To call 000.)
  3. Call Triple Zero (000) or 112 from a mobile phone immediately. During a stroke every minute counts. Lie person down with head elevated at 30 degree angle. Keep them warm and comfortable. Provide constant reassurance while waiting for ambulance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes a stroke? A stroke is caused by disruption of blood supply to the brain. Part of the brain becomes damaged, and this can affect a person’s appearance, bodily functions, speech and sight.

What other symptoms do stroke victims have? Dribbling, numbness, blurred vision, sudden severe headache, difficulty maintaining balance, dizziness or feeling lightheaded and difficulty expressing themselves or understanding other people.

How can I help if they are frightened or anxious? Keep yourself calm so you can think more clearly and help the person who's having the stroke. Help them sit or lie down and reassure them that help is on its way.

What if I can't understand what they are saying? A person who is having a stroke may have difficulty speaking clearly, but they may be able to understand what you say. Reassure them, speak slowly, and acknowledge that help is coming.

Why does a stroke tend to affect only one side of a person’s body? Since disruption of blood flow to the brain generally involves only one side of the brain, only one side of the brain and body is affected. For many people the language area is associated with the left side of the brain near the area that controls motor function for the right side of the body. A stroke with right hand and speech problems is common.

Why should I call 000 immediately? During a stroke every minute counts. The faster they receive medical help, the less damage is caused. Provide constant reassurance while waiting for ambulance.