May is annual stroke awareness month. Stroke strikes every five minutes – know the symptoms and act quickly

As the Stroke Association note “When stroke strikes, part of your brain shuts down.  And so does a part of you.  That’s because a stroke happens in the brain, the control centre for how we are and what we can do”.  Recovery requires specialist support and determination - the good news is that the brain can adapt.

To help fund continuing research and support, the Stroke Association is holding their annual Make May Purple.  Staff at Progress Housing Group will be supporting Make May Purple this Friday (24th May) by dressing in purple for a day and donating £1 (or more as a fine if they are not wearing purple!)

As a Group we have set ourselves the target of raising £25k as one team, with the organisation match funding charitable activity up to the total of £12,500.  So this is a great way for ourstaff to make a difference for a worthy cause. 

It’s important to realise a stroke can happen to anyone, of any age, at any time, so it’s vital to know how to spot the warning signs of a stroke in yourself or someone else.  Most people will probably be familiar with the FAST test from the TV and radio campaign, which highlights the signs as:

  • Face: Can the person smile? Has their face fallen on one side?
  • Arms: Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? Is their speech slurred?
  • Time: If you see any of these three signs, it's time to call 999.

The FAST test helps to spot the three most common symptoms of stroke. But there are other signs that you should always take seriously. These include:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, including legs, hands or feet.
  • Difficulty finding words or speaking in clear sentences.
  • Sudden blurred vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden memory loss or confusion, and dizziness; or a sudden fall.
  • A sudden, severe headache.

The advice is to always seek immediate medical help.  A stroke is a medical emergency so dial 999.  The quicker a person arrives at a specialist stroke unit, the quicker they will receive appropriate treatment.