President Jim introduced our very own Rotarian Nicole Larter, who is the Warrnambool Division Manager for the St John’s Ambulance Service and noted how lucky we are to have such a skilled and knowledgeable person among our membership. 
He noted that Nicole would speak about the causes, identification and first aid treatment of strokes.
Nicole began by acknowledging the local Indigenous people and their land on which we meet.
A stroke is caused by either a blood vessel blockage or leak in the brain, the degree of impact being determined by how big the event is and whether it happens in a central part of the brain or in some peripheral area.
There are basically three types of stroke
            1. Ischaemic – the most common – blockage of an artery so the brain is starved of blood.
            2. Haemorrhagic – where a blood vessel leaks or ruptures causing a pool of blood to form in the brain.
            3. Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) – a minor stroke which is self-correcting.
Treatment could involve the use of “clot busting” drugs, the physical removal of the clot, or the insertion of a stent.
What are the indicators that someone may be having a stroke? FAST!
            Face – drooping, uneven. Mouth or eye drooping.
            Arms – can patient lift both arms evenly and strongly.
            Speech – is it slurred? Not understandable? Do they understand what you are saying to them?
            Time – is critical. The sooner treatment can be administered the more likely there will be success
One in every six Australians will have a stroke during their lifetime. A stroke occurs somewhere in Australia every 10 minutes. Strokes are NOT related to age – can effect from the very young to the very old, and everyone in between.