Think FAST – Province supports stroke awareness
Stroke is a serious medical emergency, and recognizing the signs and taking immediate action is crucial. To help create awareness around this, the Province has contributed $600,000 to the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s FAST awareness campaign, Health Minister Terry Lake announced today.
The national campaign encourages Canadians to call 9-1-1 at the first sign of stroke. FAST stands for these four stroke warning signs and symptoms:
- Face – is it drooping?
- Arm – can you raise them?
- Speech – is it slurred or jumbled?
- Time to call 9-1-1 right away.
“Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability across Canada and British Columbia,” said Lake.
“We know that every minute following a stroke is crucial to supporting recovery. We should all be familiar with the symptoms, so that if we or our loved ones are having a stroke, we are prepared to take swift action.”
Stroke and transient ischemic attack (or mini-stroke) affect approximately 6,500 British Columbians each year; however, B.C. currently has one of the lowest mortality rates from stroke in the country. This campaign will aim to further increase the knowledge of signs of stroke to keep that rate down.
“We are very pleased to continue to partner with the Province in this life-saving campaign,” said Adrienne Bakker, CEO, Heart & Stroke Foundation, BC & Yukon.
“Stroke does not discriminate – it can happen to anyone, at any age, and we hope that by continuing to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke, we can further improve the outcomes for patients.”
As part of the awareness campaign, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is also partnering with BC Emergency Health Services.
This partnership includes installing decals on the sides of ambulances to help spread knowledge of stroke warning signs and symptoms.
Currently, decals are in place on the rear and sides of ambulances in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island, but this summer the program will be expanding throughout the rest of the province.
Since 2014-15, the Province has contributed $1.1 million to the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s FAST campaign.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation estimates up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented.
The Province’s Healthy Families BC strategy aims to help British Columbians make healthy choices that can prevent chronic illness leading to stroke by focusing on programs aimed at decreasing tobacco use, increasing opportunities for physical activity, supporting healthy eating and promoting healthy weight.
To learn more about the signs of stroke and the FAST campaign, visit: www.heartandstroke.ca/FAST