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Health feature



Mari Gay, Chief Operating Officer and Lead Executive for Quality and Performance - Stroke

7 May 2018

Stroke is a serious, life-threatening condition that affects thousands of people each year in the UK, both directly and affecting friends and family of those who have suffered a stroke.

It’s important that people know the symptoms to look out for and to act as quickly as possible, because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the more likely they are to make a greater recovery.

The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word FAST: Face-Arms-Speech-Time:
  • Face – the face may have dropped on one side; the person may not be able to smile or their mouth or eye may have dropped
  • Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of arm weakness or numbness in one arm
  • Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake
  • Time – it is time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

There are a number of things that people can do to reduce the risk of having a stroke, such as eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, reducing alcohol intake and not smoking. Lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels can also help. More information about preventing a stroke can be found at www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Stroke/Pages/Prevention.aspx.

During May, the Stroke Association are running the ‘Make May Purple’ campaign to raise awareness of the condition and help those who have suffered a stroke to regain their independence.

The campaign is also a chance for friends, families and communities to show support for loved ones who have been affected by stroke and the Stroke Association are encouraging people to wear, bake or even dye their hair purple to promote the awareness month.

Locally, NHS staff are helping to raise awareness and funds by taking part in a walk/cycle around Worcestershire on Saturday 12 May, ending at the Life After Stroke Centre in Bromsgrove.

So, keep an eye out in the local press and on social media for more details.

More information about ‘Make May Purple’, can be found on the Stoke Association website: www.stroke.org.uk.