Public urged to learn stroke symptoms
Residents must take action against an “epidemic” of strokes, according to the Bermuda Hospitals Board Stroke Centre.
Francene Gayle, BHB consultant neurologist and director of the centre, said the number of stroke cases on the island has increased significantly in recent years.
Dr Gayle said: “Strokes are considered an epidemic on the island. An average of four to five people present at the hospital every week with stroke.
“Recognising the symptoms of stroke is vitally important. Every second counts and fast action can actually save lives and often greatly reduce disability.”
Jamie Farrell, coordinator at the centre, added: “The good news is that there are actions we can take to reduce our stroke risk.
“These include keeping our blood pressure at safe levels, lowering our cholesterol, following a heart healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, limiting alcohol intake and controlling diabetes.”
As part of Stroke Awareness Week – and World Stroke Day tomorrow – the BHB urged the public to use the Stroke Risk Scorecard online to learn the risk factors that could contribute to a stroke.
They have also called on the public to “BE FAST” – an acronym for the signs that someone is suffering a stroke.
Symptoms include the loss of balance, blurred vision, the dropping of one side of the face, weakness in the arms and difficulty speaking.
Throughout the week the BHB have handed out wallet sized BE FAST cards to raise awareness of the signs and serve as a easy-access reference guide.
The BHB has also hosted a daily Stroke Awareness quiz on the BHB Facebook page, with new questions posted every morning this week.