An eye-opening awareness campaign is reminding viewers that when a person has a stroke, every minute counts.
The video, featured above, shows a man who suffers from a stroke in his kitchen while making a cup of tea. He collapses and hits the floor and is found by his daughter.
The story explores two possible outcomes. In the first, the daughter calls her mother and they care for him at home. In the second, she recognises the signs of a stroke and calls for an ambulance.
The first story, which is distinguishable from its blue hue, leads to the man developing a disability and being unable to return to his 'normal' life. The second story, which is in colour, shows him recovering in hospital and eventually picking up life where he left off.
The message is simple: familiarising yourself with the signs of stroke and acting quickly, could save or greatly improve someone's life.
A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply is cut off from the brain, which is caused either by a clot (ischaemic stroke) or bleeding in or around the brain (haemorrhagic stroke).
According to experts, a large stroke can kill up to two million neurons per minute - so time is of the essence.
There are 152,000 strokes in the UK each year and it is the leading cause of complex disability. It is estimated that there are currently 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.
The Act FAST campaign, which follows a simple four point checklist, hopes to educate people on how to spot the signs of a stroke and stresses the need to act quickly.
The Act FAST campaign:
- Face– has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
- Arms – can they raise both their arms and keep them there?
- Speech – is their speech slurred?
- Time – time to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs
Since the Act FAST campaign launched in 2009, more than 41,000 people have got to hospital within the vital three-hour window, which meant those affected by stroke received the vital medical treatment required.
According to the figures, which were released by PHE earlier this year, more than 4,000 fewer people became disabled as a result of a stroke in the period.
Dr Ann Hoskins, director of Children, Young People and Families with Public Health England, said: "Every minute really does count when it comes to stroke and delaying treatment can have serious consequences. We are urging everyone to stay alert to the signs of stroke and to seek immediate medical attention if they notice any of the symptoms in others. The faster a stroke is treated, the better the chances of a good recovery."
Jon Barrick, chief executive at the Stroke Association said:"Acting FAST can help reduce the devastating impact a stroke can have. We know that sadly, far too many people dismiss the early warning signs of stroke and delay calling 999. It’s easy to ignore these signs as a ‘funny turn’, but stroke is a medical emergency and getting the right treatment fast can save lives and reduce the devastation that stroke can bring.
"You are more likely to survive a stroke, and make a better recovery, if your symptoms are spotted and you get treated in a stroke unit as quickly as possible. We need to Act FAST because time lost is brain lost."
Star of stage and screen, Miriam Margolyes, whose mother had a stroke, added: "When mummy had a stroke in the late 60s, there was so little known and much less awareness of stroke than there is today. It was the worst time of my life."
She adds: "A stroke happens out of the blue and knowing how to recognise the symptoms is so important. If you know what you’re looking for, you can get your loved ones the help they need immediately. We must remember to think and Act FAST, you could save the life of someone you love. Face, Arms, Speech – Time to call an ambulance."