One in four Sheffield people wouldn’t call 999 if they thought they were having a stroke, according to new research.
The results of the study, carried out by the specialist stroke team at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, have promoted Sheffield Hospitals Charity to continue support for outreach work by the city’s stroke service.
Interventions paid for by the charity include education and awareness sessions for ambulance staff, patients, their families and carers, where information, advice and education is given.
The main symptoms of a stroke follow the acronym FAST – Face, Arms, Speech, Time. Three in four of those questioned knew what FAS stood for, but three quarters did not realise that T stood for ‘time to call 999’, potentially putting them at risk of missing out on life changing interventions.
Figures also highlighted that a quarter of people did not know what the causes of a stroke were, and nearly 16 per cent did not know the symptoms.
Amanda Jones, clinical lead for Stroke Services at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The stroke awareness event emphasised that more still needs to be done in terms of raising awareness; particularly of what to do if a stroke is suspected.
“From the minute a stroke happens, brain cells start to die, at the rate of nearly two million per minute. Therefore, the longer the person delays contacting the emergency services, and getting into hospital to access a specialist assessment and early treatment, the more of the brain is destroyed. For example, even a few minutes delay can impact a patient’s ability to move a limb or not.
“Getting to hospital urgently and early assessment ensures better outcomes.”