A stroke occurs when blood flow is blocked to the brain or when blood bleeds into the brain tissue. A stroke is a medical emergency: the sooner the medical treatment is administered, the higher the chance of recovery. If help is not received quickly, the person could be left with permanent disability.
The Stroke Foundation recommends the F.A.S.T. test as an easy way to recognise the most common signs of a stroke:
Face - Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
Arms - Can they lift both arms?
Speech - Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
Time - Is critical. If you see these signs call 000 straight away.
A stroke can occur in both blue collar and white collar workers. In SA, strokes have been found to be compensable when they have occurred during work duties. A stroke claim can be quite costly due to the prolonged recovery time and associated permanent disability.
Strokes share common risk factors to Heart Disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, obesity, mental stress, poor diet and lack of physical activity. All of these risk factors can be managed to some degree with the right lifestyle changes.
There are two proactive ways to reduce the risk of stroke disability in your workplace:
1) a health assessment where a health professional attends your workplace to measure your worker’s blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, body composition, diet and mental health, then provides advice to that worker on how to reduce these risk factors; and
2) an onsite stroke awareness session delivered by a health professional which teaches your workers to recognise the warning signs of a stroke in a co-worker and the step-by-step action plan to improve that co-worker’s chance of recovery.
Ideal Health Profile
The following score are considered ideal for good health when measured during a CHG Health Assessment:
- Blood Pressure - 120/80 mmHg
- Total Cholesterol - <5.0 mmol/L
- Fasting Glucose - 4-6 mmol/L
- Body Mass Index (BMI) - 18.5-24.9
- Waist Hip Ratio - males <0.85, females <0.75
If you would like to learn more about these stroke prevention strategies, read the CHG Case Study - Onsite Health Assessments below, or contact CHG.