World Stroke Day 2018: #UpAgainAfterStroke
Stroke is a global health issue – in fact, one out of every six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. And that’s why World Stroke Day is so important. This international health awareness day takes place annually on 29 October, and this year the campaign is focusing on the resilience and capacity of survivors to live meaningful lives after experiencing a stroke.
What is a stroke?
Strokes are caused when blood flow to an area in the brain is cut off due to blood vessels bursting or being blocked by a clot. In both cases, the lack of nutrients and oxygen to parts of the brain causes cells to die. Sadly, damage to the brain is largely irreparable and the degree of disability suffered is dependent on the type of stroke and area in which it occurs.
There is good news, though…
Did you know that up to 90% of strokes are preventable if the risk factors are managed? And if you happen to have a stroke but are able to get medical help fast, you can minimise the damage and lessen your recovery time.
How to identify a stroke
If someone suddenly gets a crippling headache, experiences numbness on one side of their body, gets dizzy or disoriented, starts to slur their speech or struggles to swallow, check them FAST:
FACE: Is their smile drooping on one side?
ARMS: Ask them to raise their arms: is one side weak?
SPEECH: Are they slurring their words or are they confused?
TIME: If the answer to any of the above is yes, call for medical help immediately.
Beating the odds
First, check whether you have any of the risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. While there are certain factors you can’t control (like your age, gender and family history), you can make some simple life changes to help reduce your overall risk:
• Exercise regularly
• Reach for fresh fruit and veg instead of processed foods
• Cut your salt and give your blood pressure a break
• Limit your alcohol consumption
• Avoid smoking or cigarette smoke
So, remember to think FAST and act FAST if you suspect that someone is having a stroke.
Are you covered?
Serious Illness Cover from Standard Bank's direct life insurance services offers a tax-free payout of up to R2 million in the event that you’re diagnosed with cancer, suffer a heart attack or stroke or need to undergo open-heart surgery.
To find out more, get a quote or request that a customer service agent call you back.