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Think FAST! campaign

Think FAST!


Suspect a stroke? Think FAST!

The main aim of the FAST campaign is to help people recognise the symptoms of a stroke – and to Think FAST!

With over 12,000 people in Scotland having a stroke every year, it is essential that people can recognise a stroke when it’s happening and take prompt action.

Visit the new website for more information

Suspect a stroke? Pharmacies think FAST!fast_pharmacy

Community Pharmacies are joining the FAST campaign to help people recognise a stroke – and to act fast.

The main aim of the Think FAST & Save a Life campaign is to raise awareness of the symptoms of stroke.

With over 12,000 people in Scotland having a stroke every year, it is essential that people can recognise a stroke when it’s happening and take prompt action.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted. Most strokes occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain. Some strokes are caused by bleeding in or around the brain from a burst blood vessel.

What are the symptoms of stroke?

To help people recognise the symptoms of stroke quickly, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland is promoting FAST – the Face Arm Speech Test – which is used by paramedics to diagnose stroke prior to a person being admitted to hospital. By diagnosing the possibility of stroke before reaching hospital, it is possible for appropriate referral to a stroke unit to be made as quickly as possible.

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What is FAST?

FAST requires an assessment of three specific symptoms of stroke.

Facial weakness – can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?

Arm weakness – can the person raise both arms?

Speech problems – can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

Time to call 999

If someone has failed any of these tests it is crucial to call 999. Stroke is a medical emergency and by calling 999 you can help someone reach hospital quickly and receive the early treatment they need. Prompt action can prevent further damage to the brain and help someone make a full recovery. Delay can result in death or major long term disabilities, such as paralysis, severe memory loss and communication problems.

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How are Community Pharmacies involved?

The Community Pharmacy FAST Campaign, includes window poster displays and the distribution of small wallet cards.

The cards which alert people on what to look out for and when to dial 999, will be placed inside prescription bags for certain patients who receive statins, warfarin, digoxin, blood pressure tablets and aspirin.

Think ‘FAST’ to deal with stroke – launch of Ayrshire fast_ayrshirecampaign

Local Ayrshire musician and WestSound Radio DJ Tommy Truesdale joined patients, carers, staff and even the Bard himself at the new Burns Birthplace Museum to launch the latest roll–out of our FAST campaign in Ayrshire.

Our Ayrshire CSS Service helped develop the campaign and distributed information to libraries and community centres.

  • fast_burnsFor those who were wondering here is the FAST Campaign message as Rabbie Burns might have delivered it…

”When suddenly they cannae smile, their mooth an’ ee hae droopit,

Their airms alas aboon their heid they can nae mair achieve it,

For them tae speak is nae mair guid, tae unerstaun is worse still,

Be FAST ma frein, pick up ye’re phone, maist likes they’ll later thank ye”

The Burns Federation in Ayrshire agreed to use our flyers with the FAST poem at their Burns Suppers. Many others took flyers to their own local events.

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Ayrshire nurse in the news


Her training helped alert Ayrshire nurse Wendy Kerr that she was having a stroke and needed medical help – FAST!

After her mother called 999, 41 year–old Wendy had a scan within the necessary 3 hour window and was thrombolysed when a clot blocking a vital blood vessel in her brain was discovered.

Having received the right treatment and made a full recovery, Wendy spread the FAST message when she appeared on STV’s topical ‘The Hour’ programme along with Dr Debbie Wake.

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FAST campaign resources

There is a poster and leaflet which aim to increase awareness of the Think FAST! campaign as well as a small card that can be stored in your wallet.

See Related Documents – right, for campaign resources. (You can save these PDFs to your computer. If printing, the wallet card should be set at 75% to get correct size.)

To order Think FAST! posters, leaflets and wallet cards phone 0131 225 6963


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