New data this year for the NHS revealed a low awareness of the individual signs of a stroke, and 1 in 5 (20%) are not at all confident that they could recognise typical signs. However, there are around 100,000 strokes in England, Scotland and Wales every year, with around 33,000 stroke related deaths each year, as well as being a leading cause of disability.
As a result, NHS England, in association with the Stroke Association, has relaunched the Act F.A.S.T. stroke campaign which highlights that a stroke is a medical emergency and urges the public to call 999 immediately if they notice any single one of the signs of a stroke in themselves or others.
The aim of the campaign is to reduce the amount of time between someone having a stroke and arriving at hospital by increasing knowledge of the signs of a stroke and of a stroke as a medical emergency and increasing the intention to act quickly on the signs of a stroke by calling 999.
The F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) acronym provides a memorable way of identifying the most common signs of a stroke and emphasises the importance of acting quickly by calling 999.
Think and Act F.A.S.T. if you see any single one of these signs of a stroke:
- 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 – even if you’re not sure, call 999.l be sent a test in the post
When Stroke Strikes Act F.A.S.T. Call 999
NHS England has shared with Care England posters for general use, which you can access below: