Taking swift action can make the difference between life and death when it comes to someone having a stroke as if left untreated it can cause irreparable brain damage.
Our stroke team will be out and about pressing home the importance of not sitting in silence if people suspect a stroke. They will be spreading the word at two festive Christmas markets to make sure people know the telltale signs of a stroke and will be encouraging them to act FAST.
Our stroke team will be out and about at:
• Grimsby’s Freeman Street Christmas market on Friday 3 December between 11am and 2pm
• Brigg Christmas market on Thursday 9 December between 11am and 2pm.
A stroke is known as a ‘brain attack’. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention as every minute is vital.Dr Asem Ali
Stroke consultant and divisional medical director Dr Asem Ali said: “Stroke is a medical emergency and is still one of the leading causes of death in the UK. I don’t know why but people do sometimes put off seeking help instead preferring to sit at home for a couple of days in the hope it will go away, or they will get better.
“Unfortunately, this is not the case, people do not get better. People really need to think FAST and don’t hesitate to call 999 if they suspect they, or someone else, is having a stroke.”
He said stroke services at Grimsby and Scunthorpe hospitals have been running normally during the pandemic, and people should not delay if they experience the signs of stroke in themselves or someone else. Treatment is time dependent and stroke patients should be in the hospital within four-and-a-half hours of onset of symptoms. Time is brain, and each minute lost is brain lost.
Signs to look out for include:
• Face – has your/their face fallen on one side? Can you/they smile?
• Arms – can you/they raise both arms and keep them there?
• Speech – is your/their speech blurred?
• Time to call 999 if you see any of these signs.
Sometimes there are other signs that people should be aware of these may occasionally be due to stroke. These include:
• Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
• Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
• Sudden memory loss or confusion
• Sudden dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fall, especially with any of the other signs.
Dr Ali said: “It is vital people know how to spot the signs of stroke and if they have any concerns about any early signs whatsoever to call an ambulance immediately – don’t wait until a second potentially more fatal stroke hits.”
Around 1.9 million nerve cells in the brain are lost every minute that a stroke is left untreated, which can result in slurred speech and paralysis. If left untreated, a stroke can result in permanent disability or death.
He said: “A stroke is known as a ‘brain attack’. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention as every minute is vital. That is why calling 999 is so crucial. An ambulance can give stroke patients those extra precious minutes, through faster and more specialist treatment via their knowledge of the nearest appropriate Hyper Acute Stroke Unit.
“Whether it is a friend, loved one or even a stranger, dialling 999 quickly and acting FAST saves lives and gives stroke patients their best chance at recovery and could reduce the long-term effects.”