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One stroke every five minutes in the UK

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NHS England, in association with the Stroke Association, has relaunched the Act F.A.S.T. stroke campaign this week.

The campaign highlights that a stroke is a medical emergency and urges the public to call 999 immediately if they notice any single one of the signs of a stroke in themselves or others.

Stroke is the fourth single leading cause of death in the UK and the single largest cause of complex disability.

Around 100,000 people have strokes each year in the UK – that’s around one stroke in every five minutes.

It disproportionately affects some groups more than others, with black people being twice as likely to have a stroke than white people, according to a report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

Recognising the symptoms and acting promptly ensures that people having a stroke can get emergency treatment earlier, giving them the best chance of survival and recovery.

The Act F.A.S.T. message is a memorable prompt to look out for the most common signs of a stroke.

Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech – is their speech slurred?
Time – even if you’re not sure, it’s time to call 999

Other symptoms that may be due to a stroke or mini stroke include:

  • sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • sudden weakness or numbness on one side of your body (including in your
  • leg)
  • sudden memory loss or confusion
  • sudden dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fall, especially with any of the
  • other signs
  • call 999 immediately if you notice any single one of the signs of stroke

For more information, visit