Act fast to save stroke victims

PEOPLE are being urged to act fast to prevent lasting damage if they suspect someone has suffered a stroke. Health bosses at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney are urging everyone to familiarise themselves with the symptoms and take immediate action if they think someone they know is a victim.

PEOPLE are being urged to act fast to prevent lasting damage if they suspect someone has suffered a stroke.

Health bosses at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney are urging everyone to familiarise themselves with the symptoms and take immediate action if they think someone they know is a victim.

The call comes as the national Act Fast awareness campaign enters its second year.

Strokes are caused by clots or bleeds in the brain, and lead to a loss of brain function. The symptoms people should look out for are:

�Face weakness - can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?

�Arm weakness - can they raise both arms?

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�Speech problems - can they speak clearly and understand what you say?

�Time to call 999 - if they have any one of these symptoms, call an ambulance immediately.

Dr Jamie Wyllie, chairman of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney's clinical executive committee, said: “Research shows that getting emergency treatment as quickly as possible after a stroke can increase the patient's chance of surviving while minimising long-term disability.

“That is why it is so important for everyone to make sure they're aware of the symptoms and what to do if they notice speech problems or face or arm weakness in anyone they know.

“Stroke is the single biggest cause of severe disability in the UK, and affects around 150,000 people each year.

“The FAST campaign offers a really simple and effective way to remember the key symptoms - so I'd encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with its messages and act quickly if necessary. Time really is of the essence.”