SOLIHULL NHS Care Trust has given its backing to a three year campaign by the Government to highlight awareness about the dangers of strokes.
Strokes, which are caused by a loss of brain function due to a clot, or bleed, in the brain, is the third leading cause of death among people in the country, and the single largest cause of adult disability in the UK.
Adverts on television, radio online, and in print, based around a campaign called FAST were launched earlier this month by the Department of Health in a bid to promote public awareness.
FAST is a simple test to help people recognise the signs of a stroke and refers to Face, Arm, Speech and Time, and urges people to call 999 if they fear someone has suffered a stroke, or is having one.
The common signs of a stroke include the face dropping, arms becoming incapable of being raised and slurred speech.
Medical experts say fast emergency action can limit the damage from a stroke to the body, and may also dramatically increase a person’s chances of surviving and avoiding long term disability.
Dr Khaled Elfandi, a consultant in acute medicine and stroke, who is based at Solihull Hospital and also covers Heartlands and Good Hope Hospitals as well, sees two patients per day who have suffered strokes, or suspected strokes.
He has given his wholehearted support to the national strategy.
He said: “Strokes are very common with one person suffering one every five minutes in the UK, so every minute counts, and early treatment is essential.
“We need people to be aware of the signs of a stroke. It is a very big health concern and is second to cancer as the biggest killer of people.
“Those with high blood pressure, diabetes, who smoke or have high cholesterol, are at greater risk of having a stroke.”
“Strokes can cause severe disability and depression among sufferers, and can have huge implications for carers too, but recovery from them does happen and people need to be able to spot the signs of a stroke quickly.”
Further information on strokes is available from The Stroke Association.
Call 0845 3033 100 from 9am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays, or e-mail email@example.com or go to the website at www.stroke.or