When it comes to seeking help for someone who has had or is having a stroke, it’s important to act F.A.S.T.
Central Coast Local Health District Neurologist Bill O’Brien is reminding the community time is crucial.
“When it comes to stroke, most people know to look for signs including a drooping face (F), restricted arm movement (A), and slurred speech (S), but time (T) is also very important,” Dr O’Brien said.
“The sooner someone who is having a stroke receives medical attention, the better the outcome is likely to be.
“Delaying or failing to seek urgent help for stroke can lead to ongoing disability or death.”
The Stroke Team at Gosford Hospital has received a platinum award and three gold awards from the World Stroke Organisation for excellence in stroke care.
Our dedicated team of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals work closely with Ambulance NSW and our emergency department team to ensure patients receive the fastest possible treatment but the community plays a big role too.
“We thank the Central Coast community for helping us achieve excellence in stroke care by recognising the warning signs and calling triple zero as soon as possible,” Dr O’Brien said.
“It’s that quick action that allows us to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients.”
55-year-old Paul Walsh of Wyoming experienced a stroke in June and thanks to the fast response of a work colleague was treated very quickly.
“As I pulled into the car park at work I was experiencing a strange sensation on my left side,” Paul said.
“It was getting worse and worse so I called a colleague for help and she called an ambulance straight away.”
“I’m blessed that she did.”
It was that fast response, combined with paramedics calling ahead to Gosford Hospital to prepare the stroke team that ensured Paul was able to receive clot-busting treatment to stop the stroke within 30 minutes of arriving at the emergency department.
Paul was well enough to be discharged from hospital 24 hours later, with only mild post-stroke fatigue.
“I’m really thankful because I have a cousin who had a stroke years ago and she needed to have speech therapy and physiotherapy,” Paul said.
“I’m not quite back to full capacity yet but I’m getting stronger every day and I was well enough to return to work after two-and-a-half weeks.”
Since his experience, Paul has made lifestyle changes to improve his health and reduce his risk of stroke in the future, including reducing his alcohol intake, improving his diet and he is in the process of quitting smoking.
“I’m so lucky the outcome wasn’t worse. I’ve used it as a motivator to get healthy.”