Recognising A Stroke

Aspirin should not be taken if symptoms suggest a stroke. If aspirin is taken without medical advice at the very commencement of symptoms suggestive of a stroke and if the stroke is a haemorrhagic (bleeding) lesion, then the cerebral bleeding might be very markedly increased.

Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK and it is also the single most common cause of severe disability. Nationally more than 250,000 people live with disabilities caused by stroke.

A TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack) happens when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted for a short while but then goes back to normal. A TIA may affect an arm or a leg, drooping to one side of the face, numbness down one side, or cause speech problems. It comes on suddenly and recovers completely, usually within minutes or hours and definitely within 24 hours. For one in five people, TIAs can be a warning sign that a stroke is likely to occur in the future and therefore should never be ignored. It is recommended that people apply the FAST test and act faster:

  • Facial awareness - 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 to them?
  • Time to call 999 for an ambulance if you spot any one of these signs.

If someone has had a stroke then you need to ring 999 - FAST!

Department of Health ©Crown Copyright.
C-Beam Developments Ltd are not the creators or originators of this document, but feel very strongly that the contents should be made available as a public service.