Ida Paul - Stroke survivor
Ida Paul - Stroke survivor
- Acting FAST can save lives
Research shows that the risk of Stroke amongst Black people of African and Caribbean origin is twice as likely as the general UK population. The stroke mortality rate in England and Wales is almost double for people born in Jamaica and two and a half times as high for men born in West Africa.
The Act FAST campaign aims to show people the signs and symptoms they should look for to identify someone suffering from a stroke, with the aim of making everyone a potential ‘stroke-saver.’
Acting FAST as soon as stroke symptoms present themselves can not only save lives but potentially limit long-term effects. The campaign explains that people should look for:
• 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.
Although there is a general awareness of stroke, it can be difficult to recognise the onset of symptoms. A stroke is a brain injury caused by a blockage or bleed in the brain. Getting appropriate treatment fast reduces the amount of brain damage and improves the chance of making a good recovery.
Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said: “People of black African and Caribbean origin are twice as likely to suffer stroke as people of European origin.
Despite being a treatable condition, stroke continues to be the third leading cause of death in England and the largest cause of disability. It does not need to be this way.
The Act Fast campaign continues to save lives and prevent disability by showing us that anyone can be a stroke saver just by making sure they know how to spot the signs - and acting FAST if they see them.
Treatment for stroke is improving, with more and more patients being seen in specialist stroke units. However, in order for people who have had a stroke to get the treatment they need quickly, it’s essential that we are all aware of the signs and symptoms so we can Act FAST.”
Jacqueline Anderson, Stroke Navigator for the Stroke Association at Waltham Forest said: “The prevalence of high blood pressure and diabetes increases the risk of stroke amongst our community, meaning the knowledge of Act FAST is crucial. Although the treatment for stroke is improving all the time, the faster a person is able to get to a hospital when the stroke symptoms first show, the better the outcome. It is possible to treat stroke and every step on the road to recovery matters. Recovery starts when you call 999.
Repeatedly we see people's lives negatively impacted following a stroke because they, their family and friends were unaware of the signs and symptoms relating to the onset of a stroke. The Act Fast campaign is essential to saving lives and can also help people sustain a better quality of life following a stroke.”
Alice Campbell, stroke survivor from London said: “I had no reason to believe that I would have a stroke. I was fit with the exception of high blood pressure, which was being treated with medication. When I had the stroke, my son noticed something was wrong straight away as I was having speech problems and felt extremely tired. But I told him not to call 999 because I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time. However, he persisted and I am lucky to be well and back at work after a year because I got to hospital quickly and received prompt treatment.
I would urge everyone in our community to familiarise themselves with Act FAST, whether you are old or young. You could save yours or someone’s life.”
* Further information is available on the Act FAST Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ActFastStrokeAwareness