A stroke is a serious, life-threatening condition when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. As the supply of blood becomes restricted or stops altogether, brain cells start to die causing brain damage and possibly death. During a transient ischemic attack (TIA), the supply of blood to the brain is temporarily interrupted, causing the 'mini-stroke'.
Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.
Recognising a stroke
It is important that you can recognise the symptoms of stroke. The F.A.S.T test is a simple way to check for stroke in others.
When stroke strikes, ACT F.A.S.T:
- Facial weakness on one side. Has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
- Arm weakness on one side. Can they raise both arms and keep them there?
- Speech. Are they having trouble communicating or is their speech slurred?
- Time is of the essence.
Call 999 immediately if you see any of these signs.