CT Scan for fast diagnosis of stroke

Did you know during a stroke 1.9 million brain cells are lost per minute? 

This week is National Stroke Week. The Stroke Foundation’s want Australian's to understand the impact time has on a stroke. A speedy reaction not only influences the treatment path for a person having a stroke but also their recovery. Most treatments for stroke are time sensitive so it is important we Think F.A.S.T. and Act FAST!

The National Stroke Foundation recommends the F.A.S.T. test as an easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke.


Using the F.A.S.T. test involves asking these simple questions:

Face Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
Arms Can they lift both arms?
Speech Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
Time Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

Once at the hospital, a CT scan is usually one of the first tests done in a stroke evaluation, particularly during an acute stroke in the emergency room. This test can show areas of abnormalities in the brain, and can help to determine if these areas are caused by insufficient blood flow (ischemic stroke), a ruptured blood vessel (hemorrhage), or a different kind of a problem. CT scans can be obtained on any part of the body, but the information here applies only to CT scans of the head.

What is a CT scan?
A CT scan uses X-rays to take pictures of your skull and brain. The patient lies in a tunnel-like machine while the inside of the machine rotates and takes X-rays of the head from different angles. These pictures are later used by computers to make an image of a “slice” (or cross-section) of the brain.

Why do doctors use CT scans?
CT scans use computers and rotating X-ray machines to create images of slices, or cross-sections, of the brain. Unlike other techniques, CT scans (and MRI scans) can show the inside of the head, including soft tissue, bones, brains and blood vessels. CT scans can often show the size and locations of brain abnormalities caused by tumours, blood vessel defects, blood clots, and other problems. CT scans are a primary method of determining whether a stroke is ischemic or haemorrhagic.

Global Diagnostics has CT services available at Kwinana, Peel Health Campus, South West Health Campus and Busselton Health Campus.

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