This week is National Stroke Week, an initiative established by the Stroke Foundation to create awareness about the medical emergency and the impact of time on stroke.

Spruiking grave statistics such as 1 in 6 people will have a stroke during their lifetime, and more than 60,000 Australians will experience a stroke every year, it’s critical we pay attention to this year’s Stroke Awareness Week.

Stroke Awareness Week runs from September 12 – 18, 2016 and this year’s message is to Think F.A.S.T. and Act FAST! This year’s #fightstroke campaign focuses on the Think F.A.S.T. concept, which stands for:

  1. face drooped
  2. arms can’t be raised
  3. speech slurred
  4. time to call 000 now

reinforcing the symptoms of stroke and how to act.

Stoke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted either by a blockage in an artery, or a bleed in the brain. When the blood flow stops to the affected area, the nutrients and oxygen are unable to get through, resulting in brain cells dying every minute to those areas.

Overall, cerebrovascular disease (disease of brain blood vessels), which primarily compromises stroke, is Australia’s third most common cause of death.

The Stroke Foundation is urging Aussies this year to organise an awareness activity, donate to the Stroke Foundation, and to host a health check, to enhance Australians understanding of stroke and what can be done in this medical emergency.

You can also support the #fightstroke campaign on social media, by adding the hashtag to your profile picture on both Facebook and Twitter, or you can update your Facebook cover image with a National Stroke Week banner. Click here to learn more about social media-related support for the campaign.

There is no cure for stroke, and more than half of those who survive a stroke require help with everyday activities. Stroke can lead to permanent disability, including paralysis of body parts, problems with speech, thought and loss of other motor abilities.

If you wish to participate in this year’s Stroke Awareness Week, head to and remember to think F.A.S.T if you suspect someone is showing signs of a stroke.