Public Health England’s annual ‘Act FAST’ campaign highlights the common symptoms of stroke and mini strokes and encourages people to call 999 immediately if they notice any single one of the symptoms in others or themselves.
There are more than 100,000 strokes in the UK every year causing over 40,000 stroke deaths with two thirds of stroke survivors leaving hospital with a disability.
Acting FAST as soon as stroke symptoms present themselves can not only save lives but potentially limit long-term effects.
Since the Act FAST campaign launched in 2009, people are now more aware of the symptoms of stroke - with 93% of people recognising at least one of the signs of a stroke and the need to call 999. Although 24% of people incorrectly think that they need to see two or more signs of a stroke before making the call.
A mini stroke has similar symptoms to a full stroke, except that these symptoms last for a much shorter amount of time. Without immediate treatment, around 1 in 5 of those who experience a mini stroke will go on to have a full stroke within a few days.
Early intervention following a mini stroke can greatly reduce the risk of having another stroke.
The campaign urges people to Act FAST if they notice any of the following symptoms, even if they disappear within a short space of time:
- Face: has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
- Arms: can they raise both their arms and keep them there?
- Speech: is their speech slurred? If they notice any of these symptoms it is
- Time: time to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs.
For more information about stroke, spotting the signs, what you can do to reduce your risk and to watch the new TV advert, visit the NHS website
The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at the stroke association website