Act ‘fast’ & live

Incidences of stroke in South Tipperary are on the increase and worryingly, not enough people are aware that acting immediately on symptoms can help save their lives.

Incidences of stroke in South Tipperary are on the increase and worryingly, not enough people are aware that acting immediately on symptoms can help save their lives.

An audit in the Acute Stroke Unit at South Tipperary General Hospital recently found that between November 2012 and May 2013, there were 76 cases of stroke, and that is a cause for concern, according to Stroke Nurse Specialist, Gemma McLaughlin.

Of that number, 65 were caused by a blockage, while 11 were caused by bleeds. Onset of stroke caused by a blockage can be treated by a clot-busting drug called thrombolysis but this must be administered within four-and-a-half hours. This is critical, according to Ms McLaughlin. Strokes caused by bleeds cannot be treated with this drug. But a stroke caused by blockage is more common, and it is essential that people act fast.

“It is 85% more common to get a stroke caused by a blockage than a bleed,” said Ms. McLaughlin. “But you have to have a CT scan as quickly as possible to rule out a bleed. So the quicker people get to hospital for the scan, the quicker they get medication.”