Stroke: Think F.A.S.T
We are supporting National Stroke Awareness Day all week and as part of our awareness-raising activity, we wanted to let you know how to spot the symptoms of a stroke and what to do if someone is showing the symptoms and you suspect that they have suffered a stroke.
What Is A Stroke?
A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. A stroke is a serious condition and can be life-threatening, however, the sooner a person receives treatment the less damage is likely to happen.
Each year in the UK, 113,000 people suffer a stroke, and worldwide, a person has a stroke every two seconds.
How Do I Identify A Stroke & What Do I Do?
There are a number of clear signs that could identify a stroke and it is important to be aware of these so that you can act quickly to get help. These signs can be remembered with the acronym F.A.S.T and are:
Face - The person's face may have dropped on one side, they may not be able to smile or their mouth or eye may have dropped.
Arms - The person may not be able to lift both of their arms and keep them elevated because of numbness in one arm.
Speech - The person's speech may become slurred, garbled or they may not be able to speak atal despite appearing to be awake. It may also be that they will have trouble understanding what you are saying.
Time - If you see any of these symptoms, it is time to dial 999 and get help as soon as possible.
What Are The Long-term Effects Of A Stroke?
Generally, people who suffer a stroke are often left with long-term problems that are caused by injury to the brain. Rehabilitation following a stroke is very important and for some people, a long period of rehabilitation is required.
It may be that there will be long-term effects on things like speech and movement, however, the long-term effects vary from person to person and depend on how severe the stroke was.
Some people who have suffered a stroke may need ongoing support with daily activities such as household chores, cooking, washing, cleaning, or companionship. Often this support can be provided within their home but there are also occasions when a residential environment may be more suitable.
Can I Prevent A Stroke?
Whilst it is not possible to completely prevent a stroke from occurring, simply living a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent it.
This includes things such as having a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking and not exceeding the recommended alcohol intake.