A Perth father who suffered a medical emergency at work has credited his quick-thinking colleagues with saving his life.
When Matt Brown began to slur his speech and became paralysed down his right side, his workmates quickly identified signs of a stroke and immediately called an ambulance.
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“I thought, ‘What is going on with me?’ because I’ve never had a history (of stroke),” Brown said.
“Before you knew it, it was sirens and lights down the road.
“I thought it was Daniel Ricciardo driving the ambulance. He was flying.”
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A stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency.
In 2021, stroke was recorded as the underlying cause of 8,500 deaths, or 4.9 per cent of all deaths in Australia, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Brown, 48, spent just two days in hospital before being discharged to a brand new, first-of-its-kind facility at Sir Charles Gairdner in Perth.
The Neurology Rapid Access Clinic provides care for low-risk patients who don’t necessarily need to spend much time in the care of doctors. Patients can see a specialist within a week.
“From a stroke Wednesday morning to discharge Friday and watching the footy on the couch is amazing,” Brown said.
Matt Brown’s colleagues quickly called an ambulance when he experienced stroke symptoms. Credit: 7NEWS
The facility has been open for one month and has already seen 60 patients.
“It saves time, the patients can get back to their family earlier and there is a bed created for another patient to come into the system,” neurologist Dr Thomas Chemmanam said.
In 2022, 1200 stroke patients were admitted to Sir Charles Gairdner, staying an average of 5.6 days in hospital.
But the new clinic will cut that time dramatically, with some patients able to go home within 24 hours.
Stroke symptoms include a droopy face, slurred speech, paralysis in arms, severe headache and loss of balance.
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