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Act FAST stroke campaign launched

Act FAST stroke campaign launched
3rd February 2015

Public Health England (PHE) has launched the annual Act FAST campaign to raise awareness of stroke and mini-stroke symptoms.

If people notice these symptoms in others or feel as though they are experiencing them, they are encouraged to call 999 immediately - even if their condition soon returns to normal.

These signs of a stroke are.

  • Face

Has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?

  • Arms

Can they raise both their arms and keep them there?

  • Speech

Is their speech slurred? 

  • Time

Time to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs.

Since the launch of the Act FAST campaign in 2009, an additional 38,600 people have received treatment within three hours of stroke onset, meaning they get the best care possible. During the same period, over 4,000 fewer people have become disabled as a result of stroke.

A mini-stroke has similar symptoms to a full stroke, although they last for a shorter duration. Without immediate treatment, around one-fifth of people who have a mini-stroke will go on to have a full stroke within a few days. However, early intervention can significantly reduce the risk.

Although 59 per cent of people surveyed cite stroke as one of the top three conditions they are concerned about behind cancer, less than half (45 per cent) would dial 999 if they experienced the symptoms of a mini-stroke, PHE stated.

Professor Julia Verne at PHE said: "Highlighting the importance of treating mini strokes with the same urgency as strokes can also make a huge difference: around 10,000 strokes could be prevented annually if mini strokes were treated in time."

African and Caribbean and South Asian communities are to be targeted by this year's campaign, as research shows they are two times as likely to be at a risk of stroke.

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