FAST campaign increases stroke awareness
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a nationwide stroke awareness campaign has seen more New Zealanders reporting suspected strokes.
“Each year in New Zealand around 9,000 people have a stroke. Early identification and treatment are crucial to reduce the likelihood of brain damage and lasting harm,” says Dr Coleman.
“The successful FAST campaign returned to teach a simple message about how to recognise stroke symptoms, and the need to ring 111 fast.
“FAST stands for Face, Arm, Speech and Time (to call 111) – sudden changes to a person’s face such as drooping, loss of arm strength or impaired speech could all be warnings that they’re experiencing a stroke.
“It is important that campaigns like this can demonstrate they build awareness over time, and not just when they are running.
“The first campaign in 2016 increased calls for suspected stroke incidents to St John Ambulance by around 40 per week.
“During the most recent campaign, the average suspected stroke incidents recorded by St John rose from 160 to 196 per week which is an increase of 22 per cent – peaking at 231 incidents a week.
“Likewise, the average number of ambulance call-outs per week confirmed as strokes increased from 45 before the campaign, to 52 in July.
“This is all good news and it shows that as a result of the FAST campaigns more people recognise suspected strokes.
“St John advises that while all incidents weren’t necessarily strokes, they prefer people err on the side of caution and call 111 if they suspect a stroke at all.
“More will be known about the impact of the 2017 FAST campaign after a full evaluation is completed.”
The successful three-month multi-media campaign was funded by the Ministry of Health. It was developed and supported by the Health Promotion Agency and Stroke Foundation.
Welcome to “A Head of Stroke” a New Zealand blog, website & connection dedicated to those affected by Stroke re-contributing to their community.
Having taken the time to research the literature on Stroke, I found that much of the existing literature on the impact of major life trauma such as stroke and its relationship to work is written from an expert point of view.
It focuses on either the factors that contribute to an individual’s ability to return to work or on the ways in which experts can facilitate return to work. There is a particular focus on assessment and rehabilitation. There is less evidence from the survivors’ point of view, of factors that motivate them to return to work; their own assessment of the feasibility; opportunities for returning to work; the meaning and importance of work or their experiences of returning to work.
If rehabilitation services are to be person-centred it is important that they are based on and take into account the personal experiences of individuals who have survived a stroke. Without these insights it is likely that important factors which influence recovery from stroke will be missed and therefore efforts to help individuals who have had a stroke may not meet their needs and aspirations.
A study conducted by an International Stroke Association in the UK; emphasised the needs of the Forgotten Stroke Survivor. They found that an alarming rate a stroke survivors were not receiving the proper long-term information on rehabilitation and recovery after a stroke.
Is the same situation true in New Zealand?