News roundup: January 2023

newspapers hanging on a brick wall

Every month there are news stories about stroke. Some are stories from survivors and their families. Others are about potential medical breakthroughs. We gather a selection of these each month and add it here in our news roundup.

Thank you 

We wanted to start this month's news roundup with thank yous to a couple of recent fundraisers.  

Chattertons Solicitors raise £10,000 

Every year, Chattertons Solicitors and Wealth Management take part in a range of charity events. This includes sponsored walks, ten-pin bowling, quizzes, bake sales and more.  

And every year they choose one charity to benefit from all these events. In 2022, that charity was the Stroke Association. 

We want to say a massive thank you for the whole team's efforts in raising such an incredible amount. You can read more on the Rutland and Stamford Mercury

Barber raises over £1,200 

A barber in Mold, North Wales donated one day's takings to the Stroke Association and the Chester Countess Hospital.  

Both of Louis Davies' grandfathers had strokes in the last six months. One of them was still in the Countess Hospital when the article in The Leader was published. 

This was incredibly generous of Louis and we just wanted to say thank you and best wishes for both his grandfathers' recoveries. 

Stroke Prevention Day 

Stroke Prevention Day took place on Thursday 12 January. This year, the focus was encouraging people to check their pulse for atrial fibrillation (AF). You can see more in our video below. 

We wanted to focus on AF after our survey found that almost three in four people (73%) did not know that AF is a major cause of stroke.  

AF is linked to around one in five strokes (40 per day). You can find information about how to check your pulse here. We also have information on our website all about atrial fibrillation

The video and campaign as a whole really took off in the media. So, we wanted to share a few of the stories.  

Survivor stories  

As part of Stroke Prevention Day, there were also a number of stories in the news from stroke survivors with AF. We'd like to share two of them here. 

University Chaplain's stroke caused by 'silent condition'  

Mia Fox didn't know she had AF. She never noticed any signs. But then in June 2022 she had a stroke while alone at home. After 16 hours Mia was able to contact a friend who called an ambulance. 

She said:  

"I had no idea about AF and that it was a stroke risk factor before my stroke. If you have a digital watch which can flag up signs of AF or notice something unusual, then don't ignore it. People need to understand that stroke doesn’t just happen to older people. It can happen at any age."

Mia is now back at work full time, but says that she is still working on her recovery. You can read more about Mia in the Newcastle Chronicle

Diagnosed two months before a stroke 

There may be as many as 35,000 people in Scotland who don't know they have AF. One of these was Alex Trench. 

Alex Trench was diagnosed with AF when he was 52. He had gone to see his GP for something else entirely. But his irregular heartbeat was picked up. 

He had a massive stroke two months later.  

Alex said: 

“I would urge people of any age to check their pulse regularly to look out for possible AF. Having a stroke is devastating. I know it. Please do as much as you can to prevent it.” 

You can read more about Alex and the Stroke Association's campaign on Dumfries and Galloway WGO

Medical news 

AF often gets worse over time. A recent study in the US tested what was better at slowing the progression of AF: medication or a new type of intervention.  

The intervention is called cryoballoon ablation. It involves using a tiny balloon attached to a catheter to destroy the tissue that is causing the irregular heart rhythm.  The catheter is threaded through large blood vessels to the heart. Then  the balloon is inflated with extra cold fluid. This freezes the tissue, destroying it. 

According to the new study, this type of ablation slowed down the progression of AF better than medications used to treat it. 

You can read more about the study on Medical News Today

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