HMC highlights the need for people to be aware of the warning signs and risk factors for stroke
As part of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) activities to mark this year’s World Stroke Day on 29 October, the healthcare provider’s stroke experts are reinforcing the importance of knowing the major warning signs and risk factors for stroke.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of mortality and the number one cause of chronic disability in the world. Due to the high prevalence in Qatar’s population of many risk factors for stroke – including diabetes, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and inactivity – the incidence of stroke is high.
Professor Ashfaq Shuaib, Director of HMC’s Neurosciences Institute, stressed the importance of knowing the signs of stroke: “Fast and specialized medical intervention is the key to successful treatment for stroke patients. Time is brain, meaning the faster treatment can be given following a stroke, the better the chances of recovery. To ensure we are able to treat stroke patients quickly, it is vital that the public know the signs and symptoms of stroke so they can identify the issue and immediately call 999 for help.”
In 2015, HMC ran a high-profile national campaign to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke and the correct action to take if you suspect a stroke. The awareness campaign used the internationally-established F.A.S.T. message to highlight the major signs of stroke and reinforce the need to act quickly.
F - Face drooping: Has your face suddenly drooped on one side or do you have difficulty smiling?
A - Arm weakness: Are you unable to raise both arms?
S - Speech problems: Do you have difficulty speaking or being understood by other people?
T - Time is ticking: Call 999 immediately
In addition to reinforcing the signs and symptoms, HMC’s stroke team is advising the public to be aware of the risk factors for stroke. “Certain medical conditions and lifestyle habits can raise your risk of having a stroke,” explained Dr. Naveed Akhtar, head doctor in Hamad General Hospital’s Stroke Ward.
“The more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to have a stroke. You can treat or control some risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking, but you cannot control other risk factors, including age, gender and a family history of stroke. But it is still important to be aware of them,” explained Dr. Akhtar.
Hamad Medical Corporation
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is the main provider of secondary and tertiary healthcare in Qatar and one of the leading hospital providers in the Middle East.
For more than four decades, HMC has been dedicated to delivering the safest, most effective and compassionate care to all its patients.