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Seek Immediate Help if experiencing stroke symptoms

Stroke Campaign WT

The Western Trust Stroke Teams are encouraging patients who experience any symptoms of stroke to seek immediate help.

Symptoms of Stroke Think FAST:

F = Face Dropping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask a person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?

A = Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S = Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred?

T = Time to call 999

Altnagelvin Hospital Consultant Dr Healy and South West Acute Hospital Consultant Dr Keegan have outlined:

“Since COVID-19 there has been a reduction in the number of patients presenting to us who can receive Thrombolysis. Thrombolysis aims to disperse a clot causing the stroke and return the blood supply to the brain. The treatment works best the sooner it is given after the onset of a stroke and, if suitable for treatment, should be given to a patient 4.5 hours from the onset of symptoms. There are many patients who are not presenting to the Emergency Department within this timeframe or are unaware of their symptom onset.”

“We would encourage anyone who experiences any one of the Stroke symptoms (THINK F.A.S.T) to seek immediately medical help.”

Betty Parkinson from Maguirebridge was just 49 years old when she suffered a stroke in November past. Betty said:

“It was thanks to the F.A.S.T campaign that I recognised the signs of stroke. I had come home from work with a headache and a short time later tried to get up out of the chair and fell, then my face started to droop. I thought straight away of the F.A.S.T campaign and knew to call 999.

“Thankfully I was suitable to receive Thrombolysis. Although I have extreme fatigue since my stroke, the treatment has meant that I have no other physical after effects.

“I am so thankful to the Emergency Department and Stroke teams at South West Acute Hospital and I would encourage everyone to get to know the signs of stroke and THINK F.A.S.T.”