Learning to react “Fast” can save lives
In June, Stroke Month, Heart & Stroke returns with the FAST awareness campaign about the signs of stroke to urge Quebecers to learn about the signs of stroke and how to react when they witness them. This can make the difference between life and death, or between a full recovery and a long-term disability.
Stroke is a medical emergency that occurs 62,000 times a year in this country, in other words, once every nine minutes. It is one of the leading causes of death and severe disability in this country. It is therefore vitally important to recognize the main signs and how to react, especially since it is the first cause of hospitalization in this country. “Today, 29% of adults still don’t know any signs of stroke. That means more than one in three adults does not know how to react to these signs. It was therefore essential to come back with an awareness campaign to encourage the population to learn them and know how to react with the acronym FAST,” says Francine Forget Marin of Heart & Stroke.
The percentage of the population able to recognize the FAST signs of stroke is still too low. In Quebec, 34% of adults know only one sign, 24% know two, and 13% know all three. This last percentage increased significantly in the previous campaign as only 5% of the population knew all three signs of stroke in February 2017, before the first campaign featuring host and public speaker Josée Boudreault and her partner Louis-Philippe Rivard. “I have had two strokes in the last two years and I feel privileged to be alive. It is therefore important to know the signs of stroke, and it’s easy to learn and remember,” (she says.)
When a person has a stroke, every second that passes before treatment counts as the average patient loses 1.9 million brain cells per minute. The FASTer the blood circulation can be restored, the greater the chances of recovery. For more information, visit heartandstroke.ca/FAST.
Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don’t miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy.
Maryse Bégin, Heart and Stroke Foundation