NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG

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Learn the symptoms of a stroke and Act F.A.S.T.

Learn the symptoms of a stroke and Act F.A.S.T.

Health chiefs from NHS Blackburn with Darwen and NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) are advising local residents to learn the symptoms of a stroke and to dial 999 if they suspect someone is having a stroke.

On the 1st February, Public Health England will launch the Act F.A.S.T. campaign which will run throughout February, to raise awareness of the symptoms to look out for.

Professor Umesh Chauhan, who is a GP in Pendle, said:

“Stroke is a serious, life threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. It is essential for anyone who is experiencing symptoms of stroke to seek medical help because the sooner they do, the better their chances of a good recovery.

“FAST is a simple way to help people identify stroke symptoms: people need to think ‘Face, Arms, Speech, Time’ – think FAST – if they are concerned that a loved one or a colleague is perhaps having a stroke.  More generally, strokes are avoidable.  Eating healthily and exercising regularly can help people to avoid the risk of strokes.”

The FAST acronym advises people to think about:

Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?

Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?

Speech – is their speech slurred?

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

Other stroke symptoms people should be aware of include:

  • Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Sudden memory loss or confusion
  • Sudden dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fall, especially with any of the other symptoms

For more information about the symptoms of stroke, and to find out what support is available, visit: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stroke/