Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have You Had A TIA? - 500,000 Available In Canada In 2011

Hi to all of my PEI Stroke Recovery readers,

Have you had a TIA? (Transient Ischemic Attack)

You don't know or you are just not sure what a TIA is. Well a TIA is commonly referred to a mini stroke. Canadian Statistics  tell us that some 50,000 people experience a stroke in Canada every single year. However, new information released in 2010 indicates that that number may very well represent one tenth of the actual number of Canadians that suffer stroke each year. Why?

According to this new information 450,000 Canadians suffer a stroke but they may never know that it happened.
These events are not to be laughed off as being something minor. They more often are a warning that something is wrong and having such an event could mean that if ignored something more serious like a stroke may well happen in the future.

On Prince Edward Island we now have our Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic open at the Prince County Hospital. We are seeing more Islanders being helped to recognize that they may very well have suffered a TIA, are at risk of a secondary stroke and are in need of secondary stroke education and support. This unit has been set up as a pilot to work out the kinks before the service is rolled out across the Island in 2012.

You don't have to attend the clinic to learn more about what a TIA is, if you are at risk and what to do if you or someone near you begins showing the signs of having one.

Click here to read the Canadian Heart and Stroke brochure " You've Had A TIA"  right here online.

This is important information that could save your live or the life of someone you love.

Whether you have in fact had a TIA or you may be at risk of having one I encourage you to invest a few minutes of your time to read this brochure. Those few minutes that you take RIGHT NOW could be the best investment that you could ever make. Especially if YOU are one of the 500,000 Canadians that will suffer a stroke or a TIA in Canada this year.

Watch this video to learn more:

If you are reading this post and live in a country outside Canada, you can apply like figures to that country.  For Example in the United States the numbers would look something like this.

Population:                 300,000,000
Strokes:                            500,000
unreported TIA's            4,500,000
Total strokes and TIA's  5,000,000

I will post again soon,


Monday, December 13, 2010

New Website For "Canadian Best Practice Recommendations For Stroke Care"

Welcome to all of my PEI Stroke Recovery readers,

As a stroke community in Canada we have been long awaiting the 2010 update to the "Canadian Best Practice Recommendations For Stroke Care"

It was released on December 3rd 2010.

Click here to download your copy or just read it online. There are some pretty nifty additions. One in particular that I like personally is the use of  hyperlinks in the PDF.

O.K, I hear you "What are hyperlinks and what is a PDF?"

1. Hyperlink - A little piece of computer code that allows the reader to click in a blue underlined text link and then be taken directly to what is being talked about. Like the "Click here" up above to take you to the 2010 update.

2. PDF - Public Document File. Documents are able to be published electronically using the public document file format so that anyone with a computer and Internet access can either read to document online, download the document to their personal hard drive/memory stick or print the document using a local printer.

In order to open a PDF the user will need to have Acrobat Reader downloaded and installed on the computer that is being used. (most if not all newer computers usually have it on them)

Oh Yes! For a major announcement: The Canadian Best Practices has launched a new website. Click here to go there now.

This is an awesome website with the very latest information and links to stroke research reports and partners there. I encourage you to spend some time there checking out everything including the new "Transitions Of Care" links.

This amazing document and website is the result of a partnership of The Canadian Stroke Strategy, The Canadian Stroke Network and The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

I hope that as a reader of "Prince Edward Island Stroke Recovery" you will find the answers to your questions about stroke whether you are a survivor, a caregiver or a health care provider. I encourage you to tell me what it is you need by way of a comment  or contact me directly. All of my contact info is contained on my  web page. Simply click here to go there.

I will post again soon,


Friday, December 10, 2010

Medications And Patient Safety - What You NEED To Know...

To all of my PEI Stroke Recovery readers,

Do you take medications to maintain or improve your health? The majority of people do. What are the dangers of taking meds and what would qualify to be tracked as a medication in your body?

Lets see what health Canada has to say on the matter. Here is a quote from Health Canada's website.

"Seniors may be more prone to illness due to the weakening of the body's natural defences. It's not surprising, therefore, that many require a greater number of drugs to treat their health problems. Because seniors also tend to have more than one health problem, they may receive multiple prescriptions or they may combine prescription drugs with over-the-counter products or with natural remedies. Given that the aging body is more sensitive to the effects of many medications, the combinations can cancel the benefits of any or all medications and produce adverse reactions, such as memory loss, sleepiness, agitation and confusion. These effects have been associated with falls and other injuries."

Notice that prescription drugs, over the counter and natural remedies all play a part and should be tracked because of the posed dangers.

Although the above quote mentions seniors, others as well can be in similar danger. Those of all ages with an acute illness or chronic condition such as a stroke survivor.

What is being done to mediate these risks?

In Canada we have an organization called  The Canadian Patient Safety Institute. (CPSI)

The CPSI has produced a brochure called "Safe Care... Accepting No Less"  I recommend that all of our readers read this publication. Just click on the above link to access the brochure.

What will this mean to stroke survivors? In P.E.I., we have a patient safety wing under Health P.E.I. and under that wing there are new tools that promote patient safety.

Tool no. one:  Home Medication List 

Tool no. two:   Know Your Medications pamphlet.

These tools are designed to inform and to protect persons that are at risk of miss use and or abuse of medications.

Please print out or pick up your personal copies of these tools and make use of them to protect yourself.

Survivors and caregivers in other provinces and states are encouraged to check with your local health authority for similar tools that are available in your area.

I will post again soon,


p.s. Additional important information from Karen McCaffery of Patient Safety, Health P.E.I.

 "The intent of this medication list is to help ensure patients bring an accurate up-to-date list with them when they visit their healthcare provider.  It is the patient's responsiblity to fill out this form and keep it current.  We want to encourage that they include all prescription, non-prescription and over-the-counter medications, including herbals, vitamins and minerals, eye/ear drops, inhalers, nasal spray, patches, liquids, injections, ointments/creams and any samples obtained from a doctor's office.  It is just one tool and patients can still be encouraged to bring in their medications or another medication list, such as the DIS list or pharmacy list.  However, many of the items listed above are not found on the DIS or pharmacy medication lists."