Every year, approximately 152,000 people in the UK have a stroke. On average, West Midlands Ambulance Service receives a call every 20 minutes to a patient having a suspected stroke. Anyone can suffer a Stroke, with almost one third of Strokes happening to people under the age of 65. Stroke is the fourth largest killer in the UK, which is why it is so important to recognise the symptoms of Stroke FAST!
Paramedic, Andy Rosser, said:
“A stroke occurs when the blood flow to part of the brain is interrupted. Without this blood, brain cells quickly begin to die.
“The classic symptoms of Stroke are picked up through the FAST test. The most common signs include facial weakness, loss of sensation or range of movement in one arm and noticeable slurred speech or difficulty in finding words. If any of these are noticeable dial 999 immediately.
“Many patients that have a Stroke are discharged from hospital and are independent. Some patients are left with a disability and sadly 1 in 5 patients who suffer from a Stroke do died. This is why is it imperative that if you suspect a Stroke you must act FAST.”
- FACIAL weakness: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
- ARM weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
- SPEECH problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
- TIME to call 999.
Further information can also be found on the website for the Stroke Association.