Get a head start in stroke

(O.P.S.) Toronto, ON: Would you recognize the signs of stroke in yourself or a loved one? Canadians can assess their stroke-preparedness when they visit a new online stroke awareness survey. Developed with support from the Canadian Stroke Network and other stroke organizations in the US and Europe is available at www.strokematters.com.

Dr. Antoine Hakim, CEO and Scientific Director of the Canadian Stroke Network said, “In theory, strokes can be prevented if the risk factors and warning signs are recognized and treated early, but in reality, the burden of stroke on individuals, families and society is rising in Canada and throughout the world.”

Yet most people cannot identify the symptoms of stroke and don’t seek help fast enough. The survey results will help to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke to ensure people treat it as an emergency and get help quickly.

Every year, stroke claims millions of lives around the world. According to the World Health Organization, in 2002 this figure was 5.5 million. Stroke is the second leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult long-term disability and is predicted to be the fourth highest burden of disease by 2020.

The earlier somebody sees a doctor or visits a hospital following the onset of stroke symptoms, the better the chances of minimizing damage to the brain or preventing another stroke. There is a clear need for global education and greater awareness about stroke. To complete the survey, log onto www.strokematters.com