Be stroke aware during May

Published May 2, 2018 at 14:46

People are being urged to think FAST to help limit the damage caused by a stroke.

Someone in the UK has a stroke every five minutes – that’s 100,000 people a year who could be left with serious long-term health problems or even die.

But acting quickly could help limit the damage which is why NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging people to know the signs to look for during Action on Stroke Month.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, meaning urgent treatment is essential.

So people should remember FAST – Face, Arms, Speech, Time – to spot the symptoms and take action.

Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.

Arms – the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.

Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake.

Time – it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

According to the Stroke Association there are approximately 1.2 million stroke survivors in the country.

Dr Phil Huxley, a local GP and Chairman of NHS East Lancashire CCG, said:

Treatment for stroke is always improving, and more and more people are surviving and achieving some level of recovery − although up to two-thirds will be left with some level of disability.

A stroke can sometimes be devastating so it’s really important that we all know the signs to look out for in ourselves or someone else.

A healthy diet, stopping smoking, cutting back on alcohol, exercising and managing health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes can also reduce the risk of a stroke.

Dr Huxley added:

We are also encouraging everyone to take some basic steps to help lower the risk of a stroke during Action on Stroke Month

It’s never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, doing more exercise and stopping smoking, and there is a range of free advice and support available through your local pharmacist and GP practice.

More advice is available at NHS Choices and the CCG Facebook page.


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