29.08.2019 15:53 Age: 350 days

Stroke team stride it out to promote powerful B.E.F.A.S.T. message

(L-R): WACHS allied health staff sporting their ‘BEFAST’ t-shirts Kim Purdon, Karen Gifford, Felicity Miller, Pat O’Leary, Kit Lucas, Michaela Eaton, and Renee Dehring.

Ahead of national stroke week next week WA Country Health South West allied health staff have gone to great lengths to demonstrate their commitment to promoting the need for a rapid response to stroke.

Some of the staff formed a team and commissioned special ‘B.E.F.A.S.T.’ t-shirts to wear while competing in the Vestrum Women’s 5km Fun Run in Bunbury earlier this month.

They’re looking forward to donning the shirts again for National Stroke week next week.

“Running as a team was not only a great way to demonstrate how exercise can reduce stroke risk but while we pounded the pavement we also promoted awareness around early signs of a stroke,” said Michaela Eaton, Acting Stroke Coordinator for WACHS South West.

B.E.F.A.S.T. promotes the message that emergency attention is needed for anyone experiencing sudden changes in Balance, Eyes (vision), Face (droop), Arm (weakness), and Speech, with a Timely (immediate) response required to reduce the risk of poor outcomes from a stroke such as a disability and even death.

Ms Eaton said national stroke week is a great time to remember not only the signs of stroke but also how to prevent one.

 “We’d like to use this awareness week to encourage everyone to take charge of their own health by considering making time for a health check with your local General Practitioner, particularly if you have any risk factors,” she said.

Ms Eaton said healthy habits can significantly lower your risk of having a stroke.

“Eating well, keeping active, not smoking and not consuming more than two standard alcoholic drinks per day are some of the simple measures you can take to reduce your risk of having a stroke,” said Ms Easton.

“If you’re out and about in Bunbury and Busselton next week, look out for our staff who will be wearing their ‘B.E.F.A.S.T.’ t-shirts and make sure you take note of the message,” she said.