NHS launches stroke campaign

The NHS, people who have survived a stroke and their 'savers' are urging people to act F.A.S.T. and call 999 if they are experiencing symptoms of a stroke.

The NHS is running a campaign to increase public awareness of the signs of stroke, after recent research found that one in five people are not confident they could recognise the typical signs.

The F.A.S.T. acronym signals the key signs of stroke, which are a face that has fallen on one side (F), arm weakness (A) and slurred speech (S) – which indicate that it’s time (T) to call 999.

Photographic portraits of stroke survivors, alongside their stroke ‘savers’, are being unveiled, showing significant life moments that survivors have been able to celebrate since their stroke including a father walking his daughter down the aisle to a husband and wife reaching their Diamond Anniversary milestone.

TV Chef Brian Turner CBE and Radio Presenter Mark Goodier are both involved in the campaign, having both survived strokes.

Dr Deb Lowe, the NHS National Clinical Director for Stroke, said: “It’s very concerning that so many people might not realise that stroke is a medical emergency and that even less people say they don’t feel confident they could recognise if someone was having a stroke. That’s why we are running this campaign, to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke and encouraging anyone who notices them not to delay calling 999.”

Radio presenter Mark Goodier: “Having a stroke came as a complete surprise and being unable to speak was frightening. My wife being there to spot the signs of my stroke so quickly undoubtedly changed my life. Within minutes we got help and, due to the excellent treatment I received at my local hospital stroke unit, I’m lucky to have made a very good recovery and I’m now back on the radio doing what I love.”

Juliet Bouverie OBE, chief executive of the Stroke Association said: “Stroke is when a blockage or a bleed stops blood getting to your brain and your brain starts to die. We know that despite its debilitating and deadly consequences, strokes are still largely misunderstood. Stroke is a medical emergency and time lost is brain lost. This is why it’s incredibly important that you act FAST. It is our responsibility to know the signs and be on the lookout for stroke. Acting FAST saves lives. We’ve seen impressive results from previous Act FAST campaigns. This one little thing could save a life.”

Image by Niek Verlaan from Pixabay

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