Stroke – Spotting The Signs & Acting FAST

Stroke is the largest cause of disability in the UK and the fourth biggest killer. In West Yorkshire and Harrogate, around 3000 people a year have a stroke with two thirds of stroke survivors left with some form of physical, mental or emotional disability – often completely life changing.

Having a stroke or a ‘mini stroke’ (known as a Transient Ischaemic Attack where symptoms may be temporary) is a medical emergency. Hospital is the safest place to be and the region’s stroke services are ready and waiting to look after people.

Spotting A Stroke

Knowing the signs of a stroke is key and people need to Act F.A.S.T. if they or someone close to them experience the following:

Face – has their face drooped?

Arms – do they have arm weakness?

Speech – Is it slurred or absent?

Time – Time to dial 999 immediately!

What To Do

Every second of delay, perhaps through calling a GP practice to make an appointment, may lead to further loss of brain cells and reduce the chances of survival or avoiding disability. Stroke is a medical emergency – if you spot the signs, Act F.A.S.T. and dial 999 immediately.

Robert Minton-Taylor, stroke survivor, who receives his care and treatment in West Yorkshire, said “If you have had a stroke you should never worry about calling an ambulance and going into hospital. There is a four-hour window for thrombolysis treatment between the first signs of a stroke and successful recovery from one.”

More About Strokes: Stroke is a disabling disease and timely intervention can make a big difference to the eventual outcome and independence. Every single minute delay can prove to be a major life changer as more and more nerve cells die without proper intervention. Strokes can be caused by a clot in a blood vessel stopping blood flow or from a rupture of a blood vessel leading to a bleed. Both types of strokes are a medical emergency. In the former removal of clot by giving clot busting drugs or extracting the clot from the brain can only be administered in the first few hours of stroke and not afterwards. In the latter situation managing blood pressure in the first few hours of a bleed is crucial.