Every year around 152,000 people suffer from a stroke in the UK and it’s the third largest cause of death, after heart disease and cancer. Would you recognise the symptoms if a work colleague suffered a stroke?

Strokes are caused by a disruption in the blood supply to the brain either by a blood clot or a ruptured blood vessel, causing bleeding in the brain.

 

Stroke Symptoms:

  • Facial weakness – the casualty is unable to smile evenly and their mouth or eye may be droopy.
  • Arm weakness – the casualty is only able to raise one arm.
  • Speech problems – the casualty is unable to speak clearly.

There may also be:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one or both sides of the body
  • Sudden loss or blurring of vision in one of both eyes
  • Sudden difficulty with speech or understanding the spoken word
  • Sudden confusion
  • Sudden severe headache with no apparent cause
  • Dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden fall.

 

How to help someone you suspect is having a stroke:

Getting the casualty to hospital to receive immediate medical attention is your main priority, but to help you identify the symptoms of a stroke you can carry out a quick and simple check using the F.A.S.T guide.

F – Facial Weakness

The casualty may be unable to smile and their mouth or eye may be droopy.

A – Arm weakness

The casualty may only able to raise one of their arms.

S – Speech problems

The casualty may be unable to speak clearly and will have difficulty understanding what you are saying.

T – Time to call 999 / 112 for emergency help

Tell the operator you have used the F.A.S.T guide and suspect a stroke.

While you are waiting for the emergency services keep the casualty comfortable and supported. If they are awake, you can help them to lie down and reassure them that help is on the way.

Monitor the casualty’s vital signs. Do not allow them to eat or drink anything because it may be difficult for them to swallow.

 

Learn more:

You can learn more essential, life saving techniques by booking a First Aid course.

How to help someone you suspect is having a stroke