It kills more women than breast cancer and more men than
prostate cancer. Yet how much do they really know about stroke?
Every year, over 15 million people globally suffer stroke.
That person could be your friend, workmate, family member, or even yourself.
Use the FAST test
Being able to quickly identify the signs of stroke is
essential, because the faster you get to hospital for treatment, the better
your chance of survival and of making a good recovery.
To help you recognise stroke symptoms and act quickly,
there’s a simple acronym everyone should learn, says the Stroke Foundation –
the word FAST:
Face: Check their face. Has their mouth drooped? Can they
Arms: Can they lift both arms?
Speech: Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
Time: Is critical. If you see any of these signs call
emergency services straight away.
The most common signs of stroke are facial weakness, arm
weakness and difficulty with speech. But they are not only signs. Other signs
that may occur alone or in combination include:
- numbness or paralysis of the
face, arm or leg
- loss of balance, or an
- loss of vision
- sudden blurring or decreased
- headache, often severe and abrupt
- difficulty swallowing
A stroke is always a medical emergency. Don’t put off
calling an ambulance, even if you think you’re making a fuss over nothing, or
the signs disappear within a short space of time. If you suspect stroke, no
matter how long the symptoms last, call emergency services immediately. The
longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke-related
Over 80% of strokes can be prevented
High blood pressure is the most important known risk factor
for stroke. Reduce your risk by making time for a health check with your GP for
all stroke risk factors. Take charge of your health too, by a healthy lifestyle
– being active, eating well, quitting smoking and drinking alcohol in