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IHF FAST Awareness Week

As part of its annual FAST awareness week, 11-17 August, the Irish Heart Foundation has targeted 250 local FAST awareness campaigns around the country in local hospitals, communities and stroke support groups using posters and flyers carrying the lifesaving FAST message.

The F.A.S.T. acronym stands for:
Face – has their face fallen on one side? 
Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there? 
Speech – is their speech slurred?
Time – time to call 999 if you see any one of these signs.

Irish Heart Foundation Head of Advocacy, Chris Macey said: “Since we first launched our FAST stroke symptom TV campaign in 2010 the numbers receiving life-changing clot busting treatment have dramatically increased by more than 400% nationally and the rapid development of 24/7 thrombolysis services nationally by the HSE’s National Stroke Programme has helped cut death and disability rates from stroke significantly against demographic and international trends. But a lot more lives could be saved in Ireland and a lot more stroke sufferers could be spared from severe disability requiring long-term institutional care if more people acted on the warning signs by calling 999.”

A previous Irish Heart Foundation survey of the public showed that when asked what’s the first thing they would do if they thought they were having a stroke, just 52% of the public said they would call an ambulance, whilst 23% said they would tell a family member, friend or neighbour and 12% said they would call their GP.

For more information about stroke see the Irish Heart Foundation’s website www.stroke.ie or talk to an Irish Heart Foundation nurse on the national heart and stroke helpline, Locall  1890 432 787.

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