Stroke is the leading cause of disability in Aotearoa New Zealand, with over 9,000 Kiwis experiencing a stroke every year.
A stoke is brain attack and is caused when a blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. A stroke can happen to anyone at any time and is always a medical emergency.
The F.A.S.T campaign encourages everyone to learn the key signs of stroke, and to think F.A.S.T act fast and look out for each other by calling 111 if they suspect a stroke. Prompt action can save lives, as well as improve recovery.
F.A.S,T is a mnemonic used internationally to help people remember some signs of stroke:
- Face: is their face drooping on one side?
- Arm: is one arm weak?
- Speech: is their speech jumbled, slurred or lost?
- Take Action: act fast and call 111 immediately if you see any of these signs.
Delayed recognition of a stroke means delayed intervention, which can have serious consequences including further damage to the brain or death.
It is vital for people to go directly to the hospital as soon as possible if any of these signs are present to be further assessed and be provided with appropriate treatment which could reduce the likelihood of long-term brain injury or death.
The 2020 F.A.S.T campaign builds on the success of past national FAST campaigns in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The campaign is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health, Te Hiringa Hauora/Health Promotion Agency and the Stroke Foundation of New Zealand.