Action on Stroke Month
The Stroke Association's Action on Stroke Month returns for the third time running this May. The theme for Action on Stroke Month 2014 is transient ischemic attacks (TIA) or mini-stroke.
Every year at least 46,000 people in the UK have a TIA (also known as mini-stroke) for the first time and although the symptoms may not last long, a TIA is still very serious. It's a sign that a person is at risk of going on to have a stroke. That is why a TIA is often called a warning stroke, yet too many people are unaware of the link between TIA and stroke and are not getting the services and support they need.
The main signs and symptoms of a TIA can be identified by remembering the word F.A.S.T., which stands for Face-Arms-Speech-Time.
- Face – the face may have fallen on one side, the person may be unable to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped
- Arms – the person may not be able to raise both their arms and keep them there due to weakness or numbness in their arms
- Speech – the person may have slurred speech
- Time – if any of these signs or symptoms are present, it is time to dial 999 immediately
Regardless of whether or not you have had a TIA or stroke in the past, there are a number of ways you can lower your risk of having either in the future. These include:
- maintaining a healthy weight
- eating healthily
- taking regular exercise
- limiting your alcohol consumption
- not smoking
Local GP and NHS Lewisham CCG Governing Body member Dr David Abraham from Morden Hill Surgery said: "Although they're often referred to as "mini strokes", it's important to understand that TIAs are not a minor problem, and need to be treated really quickly to prevent things getting worse. Knowing the signs of a TIA and acting quickly on them can make all the difference to your future risk of having a stroke."
You can find out what is happening near you on the Stroke Association's website, as well as more information about how to host your own event.