What's More Important Than Saving Lives?

The Actions For Survival team is committed to doing just that and providing as much help as possible to ensure more lives are saved in   New Zealand in 2022.

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…..began to walk she kept going to the left instead of straight ahead. She also said she was experiencing a strange feeling in her head, as if cold water was running through her head on the left side. As she lives in a retirement village I told her to ring the emergency call bell for the staff to come to her while I was on my way around in my car.

When I arrived my Mum was holding the left side of her head and said she had a slight headache. She wanted to go to the bathroom so I supported her and she was in fact unbalanced to the left.

I followed the F.A.S.T. system. Firstly I asked her to smile and both sides of her face were the same. I then asked her to lift both arms, which she did ok. I knew her speech was ok as she had been talking to me and that was fine. As she had been walking to the left I thought this wasn’t good so I called 111 and said I think my Mum had had a stroke.

The ambulance arrived within 15 minutes. The team proceeded to do lots of checks and during a strength test found a slight weakness on the left side of my Mum’s legs. She was taken to Middlemore Hospital where she was handed over to the Stroke team where it was confirmed that she had had a very minor stroke.

I am pleased to say after 5 days in hospital she is now home and nearly back to her full strength. Again, the FAST action has saved another life.

We would like to thank Irene for providing her story.

FACE is their face drooping on one side? Can the person smile?

ARM is one arm weak? Can the person raise both arms?

SPEECH is their speech jumbled or slurred? Can the person speak at all?

TAKE ACTION Call 111 straight away, DO NOT DELAY.

Stroke Association NZ recommend “If any of the signs of stroke are recognised, don’t wait, call 111 straight away. Don’t call your doctor, or drive yourself – get help immediately. Ambulance staff want to hear from you if you recognise the F.A.S.T. signs – call 111 and tell them it’s a stroke.

Below is a short video highlighting what you need to know.

For more information, help and advice, check out the support the Stroke Association NZ click the image below:

Tomorrow we will look at how to manage a person experiencing a stroke…..

For great health information check out Health Navigator New Zealand where you will find expert opinion online.

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Currently, there are temporary changes to the steps to be followed in resuscitation. These can be found in the video below or by clicking here to see the New Zealand Resuscitation Council temporary guideline recommendation. 

Click the link to go to the New Zealand Resuscitation Council Covid-19 recommended modifications for delivering resuscitation whilst the pandemic remains a threat. Click play to see a short video outlining CPR modifications that should be followed during the pandemic.

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To learn more from the experts about previously covered conditions click their logo below.


Data and information are fact-checked against various recognised sources, including the New Zealand Resuscitation Council, Health Navigator New Zealand, St John, and other recognised entities specialising in the specific subject content. It should be noted that variances in protocols exist and where necessary are identified.

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