Act FAST with strokes, says GP

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A LEADING Northumberland GP is reminding people to act FAST for stroke victims.

Morpeth GP Alistair Blair, who is Chairman of the Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group, says that recognising the symptoms of stroke and responding quickly is vital to a patient’s chances of recovery.

Dr Blair said: “The North East is fortunate to have some of the best stroke services in the country. However, to give stroke victims the best possible chance of recovery it’s vital that the signs are spotted early.”

An NHS advertising campaign urges people to act FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Time).

They should look out for facial weakness, such as can a person smile, or has their mouth or eye dropped? Check that the patient can raise both arms, make sure they can speak clearly, and if in doubt it is time to call 999.

Stroke is caused by a blockage or a bleed in the brain, which cuts off the flow of oxygen and causes brain cells to die. Clot-busting treatments can restore the flow of blood and reduce the amount of damage.