'Every minute counts towards treatment and recovery': Lancashire residents urged to seek urgent help for signs of stroke

Lancashire residents are being urged to seek help at the first signs of a stroke as hospitals experience a reduction in people attending with symptoms of the life-threatening condition.

By James Holt
Sunday, 14th February 2021, 3:01 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th February 2021, 3:06 pm

Doctors, Nurses, former stroke survivors and their carers say they are worried that people are not acting on the signs of a stroke quick enough and want to reassure patients as admissions drop.

And together they are encouraging people to recognise the main signs of stroke and dial 999.

A stroke is a serious life-threatening condition that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off and often results in people being taken by ambulance to A&E for emergency treatment.

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Doctors and nurses say they are worried that people are not acting on the signs of a stroke quick enough

Catterall stroke survivor Phil Woodford said: “We understand that people might not want to attend hospital at the moment but I’d urge anyone that if they need to make that call, to do so and dial 999 without delay.

"Your local NHS is doing everything it can to keep people safe while they are in hospital and I would have not hesitate attending if I had repeat symptoms.

“I know it can be scary; I’ve been there myself but every minute counts towards treatment and recovery. The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage that is likely to happen.

"I would like to express our sincere thanks to our NHS heroes for keeping us all safe and for caring for stroke survivors at an extremely frightening and vulnerable time in their lives.”

Lancashire residents are being urged to seek help at the first signs of a stroke as hospitals experience a reduction in people attending with symptoms

Jennifer Gardner, Associate Director North West for the Stroke Association, said: “By acting FAST and calling 999, you can help save lives.

“If you suspect that you, or someone you’re with, may be having a stroke don’t hesitate to seek medical help. Think FAST: Face, Arms, Speech - it’s time to call 999. The quicker you are diagnosed and treated for a stroke, the better your chances of making a good recovery. Now more than ever, during this pandemic, we must remain focused on making and keeping stroke a priority for the UK.”

James Barker, Stroke Consultant and Clinical Lead for Stroke at Royal Lancaster Infirmary said: “If you or a loved one experiences stroke symptoms, please help us help you - act FAST and call 999.

"Our expert paramedics, stroke nurses, radiologists and doctors will ensure you get the care you need as quickly as possible.”

The main signs of stroke can be remembered with the word FAST:

Face - has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?

Arms - can they raise both arms and keep them there?

Speech - is their speech slurred?

Time to call 999

For more information on stroke, please visit the NHS website.