World Stroke Day (October 29)
by Keli Cristofaro
World Stroke Day is recognized each year on October 29, and aims to raise awareness of stroke signs and the benefits of timely access to emergency medical care. Last year, the World Stroke Organization launched the #Precioustime campaign, with the message that when it comes to stroke, ‘save minutes, save lives.’ This message has the potential not just to save a life from stroke, but to save mobility, speech and precious independence for millions of stroke survivors around the globe.
This year on World Stroke Day, the Northwestern Ontario Regional Stroke Network (NWORSN) wants to raise awareness of the serious nature and high rates of stroke, learning the signs of stroke and the need for timely access to quality stroke treatment.
In April 2022, the NWORSN launched the “Suspect Stroke? Minutes Matter!” video, to capture the message that stroke is a medical emergency. The video highlights a patient and family member’s stroke journey, demonstrating both the delays while self-transporting and the benefit of time savings when accessing EMS to the emergency department.
Most Northwestern Ontario residents drive to the hospital instead of accessing emergency medical services (EMS) when suspecting stroke. The importance of accessing EMS in stroke care is imperative in the region due to the vast geography.
“We need to be aware of the benefits of calling 911 or your local emergency number and the expertise that first responders and paramedics bring to stroke care,” states Dr. Hassan, Medical Lead for the Northwestern Ontario Regional Stroke Network. “They are trained to recognize the signs of stroke and mobilize the patient quickly, remotely notifying the emergency department, resulting in saving time.”
With a one in four risk of stroke in our lifetime, the message remains the same. Stroke is a medical emergency. Do not delay access to stroke care. Recognize FAST: Face – is it drooping? Arms – can you raise both? Speech – is it slurred or jumbled? And Time – to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.
To learn more about stroke, visit the Northwestern Ontario Regional Stroke Network website.
Watch the “Suspect Stroke? Minutes Matter” video.
The World Stroke Organization has created a toolkit with resources to help you market and take action. When utilizing these materials please use #Precioustime, #NWORSN, #TBRHSC
Should you have any questions, please contact: Keli Cristofaro, Community Engagement Specialist, NWORSN at Keli.Cristofaro@tbh.net or (807) 684-6468.