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PHE launches stroke campaign

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Strokes damage the brain's blood vessels Strokes damage the brain's blood vessels

The fourth annual Act FAST campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of a stroke has been launched by PHE.

The campaign is centred around FAST, a method to quickly diagnose someone having a stroke. FAST stands for face, arms, speech and time. If a stroke is suspected, the face, speech and arms should be examined, and if there are any irregularities, an ambulance should be called immediately, as those who receive treatment immediately are far more likely to fully recover.

The campaign also seeks to raise awareness of 'mini-strokes', which has symptoms similar to a full stroke which cease more quickly. However, 20 per cent of people who suffer a mini-stroke will go on to have a full stroke in the following days.

Professor Julia Verne, a consultant in public health at PHE said: 'Highlighting the importance of treating mini strokes with the same urgency as strokes can also make a huge difference: around 10,000 strokes could be prevented annually if mini strokes were treated in time. That's why the Act FAST campaign encourages people experiencing stroke-like symptoms to call 999.'

The campaign will highlight the risks to African and Caribbean and South Asian patients, as they are twice as likely to be at a risk of stroke.

Nikki Hill, deputy director of external affairs at the Stroke Association, said: 'We know that sadly, far too many people dismiss their early warning signs of stroke and delay calling 999. Stroke is a medical emergency and getting the right treatment fast can save lives.'

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