Act F.A.S.T. campaign returns urging people to call 999 at any sign of a stroke.
On 8 March 2021, Public Health England, supported by the Stroke Association, relaunch the national “Act F.A.S.T.” stroke campaign. There are more than 100,000 incidence of stroke each year in the UK, causing around 34,000 deaths.
The latest data show a 12% drop in hospital attendances for stroke during the lockdown period of the pandemic, between March – April 2020.
In 2019/20 around 540 residents in Tameside and Glossop had a stroke with around 28% dying at the time.
With current national restrictions in place, there’s an even greater need to run this campaign activity to remind people of the symptoms and reinforce the importance of acting F.A.S.T. and calling 999 if you notice any single one
of the signs in yourself or others
The F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) acronym has featured in the advertising for a number of years and provides a memorable way of identifying the most common signs of a stroke, whilst emphasising the importance of acting quickly by calling 999.
Think and Act F.A.S.T.
- Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
- Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
- Speech – is their speech slurred?
- Time to call 999 if you see any one of these signs
When Stroke Strikes Act F.A.S.T. Call 999
A stroke is known as a ‘brain attack’. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention as every minute is vital. That is why calling 999 is so crucial. An ambulance can give stroke patients those extra precious minutes, through faster and more specialist treatment via their knowledge of the nearest appropriate Hyper Acute Stroke Unit.
Black people are almost twice as likely to have a stroke than white people, and on average, people of black African, black Caribbean and South Asian descent in the UK have strokes earlier on in their lives.
High blood pressure, diabetes and sickle cell are significant risk factors that can contribute to increasing the likelihood of having a stroke, and there is a high prevalence of these diseases in Black and South Asian communities. In addition to this, there are often cultural, religious and language barriers preventing these groups from seeking medical advice early.
Whether it is a friend, loved one or even a stranger, dialing 999 quickly and acting F.A.S.T saves lives and gives stroke patients their best chance at recovery and could reduce the long-term effects.
Safe systems of working including infection prevention and control administrative and environmental controls are in place across the NHS. The NHS is here to see you, safely.
Search ‘Act FAST’ or visit www.nhs.uk/ActFAST for more information.
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