Health & Safety

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Stroke Awareness

16 January 2010

Every year, over 130,000 people in the UK have a stroke. Almost one in four men and one in five women aged 45 and over can expect to have a stroke but anyone can have a stroke, including children and even babies.

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A stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK. It is also the single most common cause of severe disability. More than 250,000 people live with disabilities causes by stroke. It could happen to you, or someone you care for. Early treatment saves lives and increases the chance of the individual not suffering further more serious strokes and increases the chance of making a better recovery, but you have to act "FAST".

Ten Things You Should Know About Strokes

  1. Every five minutes someone in the UK has a stroke.
  2. A stroke is a brain attack. A stroke happens due to a clot or bleed in the brain, that causes brain cells to die.
  3. The signs of a stroke are sudden:
    • Facial weakness or numbness
    • Arm or leg weakness or numbness - especially on one side of the body,
    • Speech problems or confusion,
    • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
    These signs may only last a few hours and are called a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) or mini-stroke and must not be ignored.
  4. A stroke is an emergency. If you see the signs of a stroke act FAST and call 999. Urgent medical attention is needed.
  5. Early treatment saves lives and increases the chance of making a better recovery.
  6. Stroke is the third biggest killer and the leading cause of severe disability in the UK.
  7. Almost one in four men and one in five women aged 45 can expect to have a stroke if they live to 85.
  8. More than three times as many women die from stroke than breast cancer in the UK.
  9. Eating healthily, taking more exercise, not smoking and ensuring blood pressure is normal, can all help to prevent stroke.
  10. A TIA or mini-stroke has identical symptoms to a stroke, but lasts for less than 24 hours followed by a full recovery. A TIA or mini-stroke is a powerful warning that an area of the brain is being deprived of blood, and a stroke may follow in the next few hours, days, weeks or months.