PATIENTS can now get fast help to identify a stroke.
Local health bosses hope to raise awareness of the early signs of a stroke in a bid to reduce disabilities and fatalities.
There are at present almost 8,000 people in Kirklees who are believed to have had a stroke or mini-stroke.
Every year around 150,000 people nationally suffer some form of a stroke.
Now a three-year campaign called Fast has been launched in conjunction with the Department of Health.
The campaign will inform the public about Fast – Face, Arm, Speech, Time to call 999.
Dr Judith Hooper, director of public health at NHS Kirklees, said: “In many cases, death or disability from stroke can be avoided – giving up smoking, losing weight and reducing alcohol consumption can all help to reduce the risk of stroke.
“Recognition of the early warning signs of stroke is crucial.
“This campaign will help make sure that people having a stroke and those around them can recognise the signs and are aware of the need for fast emergency treatment.
“The faster a stroke patient receives emergency treatment, the better their chances are of surviving and minimising long-term disability.”
The four Fast points will teach people to spot:
Facial weakness – can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
Arm weakness – Can the person raise both arms?
Speech problems – Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
Time to call 999 – If the person has any one of these symptoms call an ambulance.
Jon Barrick, chief executive of The Stroke Association, said: “Better public understanding of stroke, its symptoms and treating it as a medical emergency will significantly improve the chances of recovery for the 150,000 people who have a stroke every year in the UK.
“We know that it’s the best way for people to remember how to recognise the signs of stroke and call 999 straight away. “The awareness campaign will give this work a fantastic boost and could help reduce avoidable deaths resulting from stroke.”
Stroke is a loss of brain function due to a clot or bleed in the brain.
An estimated 150,000 people have a stroke in the UK each year, with 67,000 deaths due to stroke.
Statistics show that a stroke has a greater disability impact than any other chronic disease, with more than 300,000 people living with moderate to severe disabilities as a result of stroke.