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National Stroke Week – The power of awareness

13 September 2018

The blog is contributed by Timothy Holwell, Therapy Development Manager, Neurovascular, ANZ and John Gillespie, Principal Health Economics & Reimbursement Analyst. Tim is the Chairperson and John is a member of the Medtronic ANZ Stroke Taskforce.

We are very proud to actively support this year’s National Stroke Week (3-9 September). Last week, we set up a Stroke Awareness Table in every Medtronic Hub across Australia. For everyone who visited the Awareness Table, we provided information on stroke management and helped them check blood pressure.

Photo: Staff visiting our Stroke Station in the office

Each year 56,000 people[i] in Australia suffer a stroke and it is one of our nation’s biggest killers and leading causes of disability. It’s estimated that more than 80% of strokes can be prevented simply by managing risk factors and living a healthy lifestyle[ii]. To support the Stroke National Week, we encourage everyone to discover how easy it is to fit healthy habits into their day to reduce their stroke risk.

The power of awareness – Charlie’s story

Charlie, our Sydney HQ café manager shared his story about the importance of raising awareness and acting on the information received. A couple of years ago during National Stroke Week, Charlie had his blood pressure measured at the Awareness Table set up in our Sydney HQ and found his blood pressure was a bit high, so he saw his doctor and learnt that he has atrial fibrillation (AF) –  an irregular, rapid heart rate and a risk factor for stroke. Charlie is now aware and managing his condition. This is exactly what Stroke Week and our Stroke Awareness Table are all about – prompting action to prevent stroke. It is also a great illustration of what a simple table with a few bits of information can do – keep someone healthy!


Photo: Charlie, café manager

A special note of thanks to Charlie for sharing his story with us, and our community.

Visit to learn more about stroke. Recognise the signs of stroke:


[i] Deloitte Access Economics. No postcode untouched – Stroke in Australia 2017
[ii] O’Donnell et al. “Global and regional effects of potentially modifiable risk factors associated with acute stroke in 32 countries (INTERSTROKE): a case-control study”, Lancet 2016; 388: 761–75. Published Online July 15, 2016,



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