Seahouses Probus, August report

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Our chairman opened the meeting by confirming that he now had the necessary 10 people for the Nissan visit and reminding us of the impending annual lunch which requires all attendees to pay at or before the next meeting.

Reports were called for from the secretary and the treasurer, who both confirmed the satisfactory position of their areas of responsibility. Our secretary then introduced our speaker Donna Scott, who spoke to us on The Stroke Association, Risk Factors and Prevention of Strokes.

Needless to say, this was a subject of considerable interest to her audience and an excellent lecture followed.

The Stroke Association is the major stroke charity in the UK and the only one to work nationally in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We heard how strokes cause the third most deaths in the UK, in fact more die from strokes than breast cancer. Despite this, there is far less spent on research etc. into strokes than for cancer or heart attacks.

It is expected that strokes will soon be the second most common cause of death.

We were told about the two types of stroke and how it is impossible to differentiate between them without a scan and how important it is to get medical help as soon as possible.

There is procedure to help with the recognition of a stroke. This is called FAST, which stands for Facial weakness, Arm weakness, Speech problems and Time to call 999.

Any weakness shown under these headings would indicate the possibility of a stroke. In order, this means are they able to smile, can they raise both arms, do they have problems talking? If yes, dial 999.

We were also informed that any brain cells that die from a stroke do not recover and, although the brain will recover wholly or partly through re-routing its various paths, it will take about two years for this to occur.

The talk included much more of interest and, after a lively question-and-answer session, a vote of thanks for an excellent and professional presentation was given by Roger Howell.