In the UK, stroke strikes someone every five minutes, with 100,000 people having a stroke each year.
David Wardman, Clinical Lead for Long Term Conditions at Leeds NHS Clinical Commissioning Group said: “A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.
“Stroke continues to be one of the leading causes of death or serious long-term illness in Leeds with approximately 900 Leeds residents affected each year. Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential - the earlier a stroke is diagnosed and treated, the better the long-term outcomes for people will be.
“Signs to look out for include a drooping face or a fallen eye or mouth; being unable to raise both arms and hold; and slurred speech. If you experience any of these symptoms, or spot them in others, you must call 999, as it’s important you get help quickly.”
There are a number of factors that can increase a person’s risk of a stroke, the NHS in Leeds said.
These include; ageing as arteries can get narrower as people age; people with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol; people who do not take regular exercise, are over weight or have an unhealthy diet; and people who smoke or misuse drugs or alcohol.
The best way to reduce these risks is for people who are high risk to make an appointment with their medical professional to change lifestyle factors such as making healthier food choices and increasing physical activity.
The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word FAST – you must call 999 if you have the following:
Face – face is drooping/fallen on one side, unable to smile, or the mouth or eye have dropped
Arms – unable to raise both arms and keep them there
Speech – speech is slurred or garbled
Time – dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.
Leeds NHS Teaching Hospital Trust specialise in the early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of people who have experienced a stroke.
Alongside this, Leeds Community Healthcare work with people recovering from a stroke in their homes to aid rehabilitation.
For more information on strokes please see: www.stroke.org.uk