A THREE year campaign to promote awareness among the public about the dangers of strokes is being supported by Solihull NHS Care Trust.
Strokes, which are caused by a loss of brain function due to bleeding 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 to alert people to the warning signs.
Fast is a simple test and refers to Face, Arm, Speech and Time, urging people to call 999 if they fear someone has suffered a stroke, or is having one.
The common signs 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, sees two new patients each day who have suffered strokes, or suspected strokes.
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 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, 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 is available from The Stroke Association. Call 0845 3033 100 from 9am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org