Did you know that stroke is the third biggest cause of death in South Africa? Do not take chances. Learn the facts and save a life today.
Stroke attacks about 240 people a day, regardless of age or gender. A quarter of these people do not survive, so stroke kills 60 people every day! Many who do survive have residual disabilities.
Behind these numbers are real lives - don't allow yourself or your loved one to become a statistic.
Commit yourself to the following six stroke challenges:
Know your personal risk factors: high blood pressure, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol
Be physically active and exercise regularly
Avoid obesity by keeping to a healthy diet
Limit alcohol consumption
Avoid cigarette smoke. If you smoke, seek help to stop now
Learn to recognise the warning signs of a stroke
Stroke symptoms and warning signs
You may be having a stroke if you suddenly experience one or more of these symptoms:
Sudden numbness or weakness especially on one side of the body
Sudden loss of speech, trouble speaking or understanding language
Sudden loss of vision or trouble seeing in one or both eyes, or having double vision
Sudden trouble walking, loss of balance or dizziness
Sudden severe headache with no cause
Stroke is a medical emergency. If you notice any of these warning signs act fast!
What to do if someone is having a stroke
Call for an ambulance immediately, as medical help is very important within the first few hours. Remember that time lost is brain function lost! The faster you get the person to a hospital, the better their chances of recovery and you could save a life.
Some people who have had a stroke caused by a blood clot, may need special clot-busting treatment called tPA. In these cases, the treatment must be given within the first 3 hours of stroke, it is therefore important to know the time when symptoms first appeared.
Make sure that you and your family are familiar with emergency numbers. Keep these ambulance service numbers handy:
Public: 10177 (from your landline) or 112 (from your mobile phone)
Private: Netcare: 082 911 or ER24:084 124
Don't become another statistic - contact the Heart Mark Diet Line on 0860 223 222 or visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation website for more details about what you can do to change your lifestyle to reduce your risk of stroke.
- (Health24, updated October 2012)
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