Nurse warns of dangers of delaying stroke treatment

Stroke team at Blackpool hospital

Ward manager Lisa Ingham, fourth left, and members of the stroke ward team at Blackpool hospital

Too many people are leaving it too late to get potentially life-saving hospital treatment when they have a stroke.

That’s the warning from Blackpool hospital’s lead stroke nurse on World Stroke Day this Saturday (Oct 29).

Nearly 10,000 people are survivors of stroke in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre and each year hundreds are left disabled by them.

But strokes are very treatable if caught early, says nurse Lisa Ingham, manager of the stroke ward at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Recognising the symptoms of stroke and seeking urgent medical help can mean the difference between permanent disability and return to a near normal life.

“Saved minutes save lives when it comes to treating stroke. The faster someone is treated, the better the chance of a good recovery”, said Lisa.

“Sadly, we see too many people who go on to suffer lifelong brain injury because they hesitated dialling 999 or being brought straight to hospital.

“If you suspect stroke, we want to see you as soon as possible. Act FAST and get into hospital immediately because we’re here for you.”

Acting FAST means:

  • 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

Stroke is a time sensitive condition which means any delay getting treatment kills brain cells. Nearly two million neurons, the nerve cells in the brain, die every minute a stroke goes untreated in a typical patient.

Recognising the signs of stroke and getting the person to hospital within three to four hours greatly increases the chance of recovery as well as reducing likelihood of permanent disability and the need for extensive rehabilitation.


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