Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Make sure you know the signs: Lives can be saved

The British National Health Service in has a lofty goal: reducing the number of stroke deaths in half.

From a Reuters story about this new stroke awareness campaign:
Deaths from strokes can be halved if people recognise the signs of an attack and call an ambulance immediately, the National Health Service said on Monday.

New clot-busting treatments can produce "Lazarus-like" effects and have patients up and about within a day if administered within three hours of a stroke, said Roger Boyle, the National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke.
The National Health Service posts great information, including specifics about the signs of a stroke. The agency uses the F.A.S.T. acronym:
  • Face: Has their face drooped or look fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms: Can the person raise both arms?
  • Speech: Can the person speak clearly and understand what other people are saying?
  • Time: Time to call 999 (blogger's note: in the U.S., of course, that would be 911) if you see one or more of these signs.
And that's the bottom line. Even if you're uncertain, call for help. Life is in the balance.

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