In a attempt to improve the publics appreciation of the signs of a stroke and how time is the key in attempting to minimise its effects, on May 10th the Irish Heart Foundation started to advertise the F.A.S.T. campaign. The idea is to show that a stroke can occur to any of us, at any age but most importantly, that if we are aware of the signs and get help in time we may be able to reduce the sometimes devastating consequences of a stroke. The hard hitting images in the tv ad show how quickly a stroke can affect a person. The average stroke destroys roughly two million brain cells every minute. So, the quicker a person gets into hospital after a stroke, the more of their brain can be saved.
A Stroke is a medical emergency. And if you suspect that someone has had a stroke, you need to call 999.
When stroke strikes, people have to act F.A.S.T.
It stands for:
F – Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile? If they can stick their tongue out has it crooked or falling to one side?
A – Arms – Can they raise both arms and keep them there?
S – Speech – is their speech slurred?
T –Time to call 999 if you spot any single one of these signs.
Too often people dont recognise these signs and wait to see if they go away before seeking help. By the time they then seek help the problem may have gotten worse or is too late to use the clot busting medications that are useful and may reduce the severity of stroke in some cases.
The FAST advertising materials were originally used by the UK Department of Health. These ads have been very successful at raising awareness in the UK, resulting in a 55% increase in stroke-related emergency calls.
Please see www.stroke.ie for further information. This link can also be found in our "nutrition links" section.