Stroke Awareness

March 16, 2009


Would you know how to recognise the signs of a stroke? The sooner somebody who has had a stroke gets the right medical attention, the better their chances of a good recovery. So minutes really do matter. Act F.A.S.T. is a new government awareness campaign (in the UK) which aims to educate healthcare professionals and the public on the signs of stroke and act to save lives and reduce the damage caused.

A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted. Most strokes occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain. Some strokes are caused by bleeding in or around the brain from a burst blood vessel.

If you suspect someone has had a stroke, act F.A.S.T. The FAST test is essentially very easy to use. It stands for the FACE, ARM, SPEECH, TIME test.

Facial weakness – Has their face drooped on one side? Can they smile?
Arm weakness – Can they raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech problems – Is their speech slurred?
Time to call 999 for an ambulance if you see any one of these signs.

In 90% of cases, people who have had a stroke display one or more of the FAST test signs. Any ONE of these symptoms could indicate a stroke.

Knowing the symptoms of stroke is a positive step you can take to avoid the severe damage or death that can result from this condition. Prompt diagnosis and treatment within 3 hours can save lives and prevent disabilities. The FAST test can make a real difference.

See video: Recognise a stroke: The FAST test

Source:  The Stroke Association