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A stroke is serious, and it happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is blocked. If it happens it is an emergency which needs urgent treatment. Delay can mean short or long term disabilities including paralysis, memory loss and problems communicating. The faster a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less chance there is of permanent damage to the brain … that means there’s a better chance of making a good recovery if you act fast.

F.A.S.T. will help you remember the main clues that someone is having a stroke.

F for FACE – Has one side of their face dropped? Is their mouth or eye drooping? Can they smile properly?

A for ARMS – Are they unable to life up one or both arms and keep them up?

S for SPEECH – Speech or sign language may not be as clear as usual, or they may be unable to communicate at all, even though they look awake

T for TIME – if they have any of the symptoms it’s time to call 999. If the symptoms then disappear, it could still have been a mini stroke and you still need to get medical help. F.A.S.T. Fast.

The people most at risk of a stroke are those over 65 though it can happen at any age. There’s a higher risk if people have South Asian, African or Caribbean roots because they have a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. If people have had a stroke or a mini stroke before, or have family history of stroke they are also at increased risk.

Your risk increases if you have diabetes, if you smoke, if you are overweight, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, if you eat badly, or don’t exercise.

These BSL health clips were made by SignHealth with help and information from the NHS.  For more information or advice, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/stroke