Act F.A.S.T this National Stroke Awareness Month

During this year’s National Stroke Awareness Month, which takes place annually in May, health officials in Lancashire and South Cumbria are encouraging local residents to become more stroke aware to enable them to act F.A.S.T on the symptoms of stroke to save lives.

A stroke is a serious life-threatening condition which occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. There are around 100,000 strokes a year in the UK which equates to at least one stroke every five minutes, sadly causing around 34,000 deaths per year. Early treatment not only saves lives but results in a greater chance of a better recovery, as well as a likely reduction in permanent disability from stroke.

The NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria are working together to improve and enhance acute stroke and rehabilitation services across the region with proposals approved for significant funding and development over the next three years.

Now, as part of the May awareness campaign, the public are also being encouraged to learn how to spot the symptoms of stroke and to seek emergency medical help for any concerns about any early signs.

Catherine Curley, nurse consultant in Stroke Medicine at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“Stroke is the fourth single leading cause of death in the UK and the single largest cause of complex disability.

“Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential. Acting fast and getting treatment will help save lives. The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.

“The NHS is here for you so please help us to help you by coming forward for care as soon as possible if you need it. If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, don’t hesitate, just call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.”

The Act F.A.S.T. campaign urges everyone to take immediate action on seeing any stroke symptoms:

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms – can they raise both their arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time – time to call 999

For information about stroke, visit:

To learn more about the Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership plans to improve stroke services, visit:

The Stroke Association provides information and support for stroke survivors and their families and will be raising awareness throughout the month of issues relating to stroke research and recovery.

You can learn more about their work, and find out how you can get involved, by visiting:

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