Spotlighting strokes

The Stroke Association

The Stroke Association is the UK's leading stroke charity which campaigns to improve stroke care, supports people to make the best recovery they can, and funds ground-breaking research to change the lives of people affected by stroke.

A stroke is a brain attack which occurs because of a clot or a bleed in the brain, causing brain cells to die. Although it's one of the UK's biggest killers and leading causes of disability, far too many people don't understand it or ever think it'll happen to them.

A stroke can happen to anyone at any time. Every year an estimated 152,000 people in the UK have a stroke. That's one person every five minutes.

The most common signs to look for can be remembered using the acronym 'FAST':

  • Facial weakness
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech problems
  • Time - call an ambulance

The faster the signs are spotted, the more of the person is saved.

It is often difficult to say why a person has a stroke and many people won't ever have an answer. It could be linked to an injury or medical conditions like blood-clotting disorders, diabetes or an irregular heartbeat. However, some strokes can be prevented, with regular exercise, healthy eating, not smoking and avoiding excessive drinking. The biggest risk factor for strokes is high blood pressure. The Stroke Association holds free blood pressure testing events because 40% of strokes could be prevented if it's controlled.

The Stroke Association offers a range of 'life after stroke' services, including the information, advice and support service. Staff work closely with hospital stroke teams to support people in their transition from hospital to home and onwards. The team provides a range of support to stroke survivors and their families, including information on useful local organisations and details of stroke and carers' groups. Staff members are always available to listen and offer emotional support in adjusting to life after stroke. Staff also raise awareness of how to prevent a stroke through events and talks in the community.

For more information about strokes, contact:

  • Helpline on 0303 30 33 100
  • Salford Life After Stroke Information Advice and Support ServiceĀ 0161 206 4028
  • Community Stroke Co-ordinator 0161 745 8222
  • Stroke regional office 0161 745 8222
  • or visit theĀ Stroke Association's website
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