Stroke campaign

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New FAST stroke awareness campaign launches
09/02/2009

The Department of Health is launching a major campaign to raise public awareness of stroke. The campaign, which will run over three years, aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of stroke to increase the numbers of people diagnosed in the early stages.

Many people who have a stroke are not able to access care services quickly enough because public and professionals alike do not recognise stroke symptoms. The Department of Health campaign promotes the “FAST” test, encouraging people to look for facial weakness, arm weakness, and speech problems:

  • F - Facial weakness. Can the person smile? Has their mouth or an eye drooped? Has their face fallen on one side? 
  • A - Arm weakness. Can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • S - Speech problems. Is their speech slurred? Can they understand what you say and can they speak clearly?
  • T- Time to call 999. Call 999 if you see any one of these signs.

Increasing early access to stroke services is very important, but it is even more important to avoid having a stroke in the first place. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, causing 60% of the 150,000 stroke that happen in the UK every year.

To find out more about how to avoid a stroke by lowering your blood pressure, how to recognise a stroke, and how high blood pressure can cause a stroke, go to www.bpassoc.org.uk/BloodPressureandyou/Yourbody/Stroke


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