Posted on 13. Sep, 2010 in News

The Brumby Labor Government will provide $300,000 to continue a successful campaign encouraging all Victorians to act FAST and remember the warning signs of stroke.

At Federation Square today, Health Minister Daniel Andrews officially launched National Stroke Week in Victoria, a new website and iPhone application.

“We are taking action to deliver world-class health services and support campaigns that raise awareness of stoke and help save lives,” Mr Andrews said.

“That is why we are delivering $300,000 to support the National Stroke Foundation’s FAST campaign in Victoria in 2011.”

FAST – an easy way to recognise the signs of stroke – stands for:

* Face – check their face. Has their mouth drooped?

* Arms – can they lift both arms?

* Speech – is their speech slurred?  Do they understand you?

* Time – time is critical.  If you seen any of these signs call 000.

Mr Andrews commended the National Stroke Foundation on the 5th year of the FAST campaign.

“Today’s launch of a new website and iPhone application are new ways to raise awareness of the warning signs,” he said.

“The iPhone application provides information about stroke, the FAST test and quiz and information on public hospitals with stroke units.”

Mr Andrews said lives were saved when people recognised the signs of stroke and responded quickly.

“Calling 000 immediately could mean the difference between severe disability and a full recovery,” he said.

“Statistics show the FAST campaign is working as awareness of the signs of stroke is significantly increasing, with 86 per cent naming at least one correct symptom in 2009 compared to 80 per cent in 2008.”

Stroke is Australia’s second biggest killer and a leading cause of disability. Victorian hospitals treat more than 14,000 people each year for stroke and related conditions.

Mr Andrews said the number of strokes and related conditions, and the cost of treating them, would continue to increase as the population grows and ages.

“We are working with the National Stroke Foundation, medical, nursing and allied health staff, people who have had a stroke and their carers, to develop new ways of better managing stroke,” he said. “The Brumby Government committed $5 million over three years to support the Stroke Care Strategy for Victoria, which was released in 2007, and establish the Victorian Stroke Clinical Network to guide its implementation.”

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