Launch of stroke campaign in the East Midlands

News stock image.
News stock image.

According to current figures, about 92,000 people on GP registers in the East Midlands have had a stroke, and in 2016, more than 2,500 died from a stroke.

Figures from Public Health England (PHE) also reveal that although the majoirty of strokes happen to those over the age of 70, a larger proportion of strokes are now occurring in middle-aged adults (40-69).

More first time strokes are now occurring at an earlier age compared to a decade ago.

The average age for males having a stroke fell from 71 to 68 years and for females, 75 to 73 years between 2007 and 2016.

Today (Thursday) PHE launches the Act F.A.S.T stroke campaign to remind people to be aware of the symptoms.

Seán Meehan, Health and Wellbeing Programme Lead for Public Health England in the East Midlands, said: “Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in England, and in the East Midlands strokes lead to more than 2,000 deaths every year – with 2,595 people dying from a stroke in 2016.

“The faster someone experiencing a stroke gets emergency treatment, the more chance that person has of surviving and avoiding serious disability.

“It is crucial to Act FAST when you see any single one of the symptoms of stroke, and do not delay making that all-important 999 call.”

You should call 999 urgently if you notice one of the signs of a stroke:

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

• Arms – can they raise both their arms and keep them there?

• Speech – is their speech slurred?

• Time – time to call 999

In England, one in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime, and it is estimated that about 30% of people who have a stroke will experience another stroke.

There are around 32,000 stroke related deaths in England each year, but these deaths have declined by 49% in the past 15 years.

This has been accredited to a combination of better prevention, earlier treatment and more advanced treatment.

The Stroke Association’s latest State of the Nation report reveals that in the UK almost two thirds (65%) of stroke survivors leave hospital with a disability.

About three quarters of stroke survivors have arm or leg weakness, about 60% have visual problems and about half have difficulty swallowing and loss of bladder control. Communication is also affected in around a third of stroke survivors.

Juliet Bouverie, CEO of the Stroke Association, said:“As the UK’s leading stroke charity, we have said time and again that stroke devastates lives in an instant. “Almost two thirds of stroke survivors leave hospital with a disability, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

“The faster you seek and receive emergency specialist treatment for stroke, the better your chances of making a good recovery.

“Knowing the signs of stroke and being able to Act FAST could save a life – your life.”

Steve Brine MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care, said: “Strokes still claim thousands of lives each year, so the message of this Act FAST campaign remains as relevant as ever.

“The faster you act, the greater the chance of a good recovery. That’s why I’m urging everybody, and we must remember stroke can hit at any age, to familiarise themselves with the signs of a stroke and be ready to act fast.”