Stroke awareness bid’s FAST support

The new F.A.S.T. poster which accompanies the Public Health England campaign.
The new F.A.S.T. poster which accompanies the Public Health England campaign.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is reminding residents in Bridlington to ‘Act FAST’ and become a life-saver.

The trust is supporting a Public Health England’s latest campaign, run in conjunction with the Stroke Association, to raise awareness of the three main stroke symptoms.

The F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) acronym is a simple test to help people identify the most common signs of a stroke, and emphasises the importance of acting quickly by calling 999.

F.A.S.T. stands for:

l Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?

l Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?

l Speech – is their speech slurred?

l Time to call 999

Dr Steven Dykes, deputy medical director for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “The sooner the symptoms are recognised and an ambulance is called, the quicker the person will receive the early treatment they need to increase their chance of survival and improve their chance of making a full recovery. The FAST test can be carried out by anyone and is a really effective way of spotting the typical signs of a stroke. It can undoubtedly save lives.

“A stroke is known as a ‘brain attack’. In 2016-17, YAS dealt with 6,594 emergency calls for patients with a suspected stroke.

“When someone suffers a stroke, the blood supply to part of the brain cuts off.

“It is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention as every minute is vital. Those patients who are treated in a hospital with clot-busting drugs within six hours are known to have better outcomes.

“Yorkshire Ambulance Service is continually working with hospitals to develop and enhance its stroke pathways across the region.

“These enable ambulance clinicians to fast-track patients to specialist hyper acute stroke units for life-saving treatment, often bypassing the emergency department and taking patients directly for a CT scan to diagnose a clot.”