World Stroke Day – Act F.A.S.T.

World Stroke Day is held on 29 October each year. This year’s campaign focuses on saving precious time, referring to the need to act F.A.S.T. in the aftermath of a stroke, as well as how that action can improve the quality of life for stroke survivors.

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.

It’s vital not to ignore signs and symptoms that could be potentially life changing and life threatening.

Having a stroke or a ‘mini stroke’ (known as a Transient Ischaemic Attack where symptoms may be temporary) is a medical emergency.

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!

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.