The Fono

Health & Social Services

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Stroke

A stroke is a brain attack that occurs when a blockage such as a clot blocks the blood flow to the brain, or when a burst blood vessel bleeds into the brain.

Different parts of the brain control a person’s movements, senses, emotions and intellectual functions. The effects of stroke depend on which part of the brain is damaged and how severe the damage is. About a third of all strokes are fatal.

Strokes are largely preventable, yet each year about 9,000 people in New Zealand have a stroke.

Anyone can have a stroke. Although strokes often happen to older people, a quarter of all strokes in New Zealand occur in people of working age or younger – even children and babies have strokes according to the Stroke Foundation New Zealand.

Disabilities from stroke range from slight to severe. Some people make a speedy recovery and return to their normal lives. Others have disabilities that may improve with time and can be managed. For many, disabilities may last a lifetime. A small number of people will need full time medical care.

You can reduce your risk of having a stroke by following these recommended actions:

  • Check your blood pressure regularly, and follow any treatment advised by your doctor
  • Don’t smoke
  • Reduce your salt intake
  • Eat healthy foods (limit fatty, sugary, salty foods)
  • Move more - be physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Check your cholesterol level and follow any treatment advised by your doctor
  • Get checked for atrial fibrillation (a type of irregular heartbeat) and follow any treatment advised by your doctor
  • If you have diabetes, manage your condition well

Your doctor at The Fono can assist and advise you on:

  • Transient ischaemic attack (TIA) and early assessment
  • Antiplatelet therapy for secondary stroke prevention
  • Preventing fatal and disabling stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation
  • Long-term recovery from stroke

Find out more

Heart disease / stroke

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