Act FAST – Recognising the early symptoms of a stroke

Understanding and identifying stroke symptoms

Being safe in the workplace is always of paramount importance but identifying the signs for some issues early can prevent more serious complications.

Strokes strike every five minutes in the UK and 100,000 people are affected each year. With 1.3 million stroke survivors in the UK, it’s vitally important to notice the signs early. Two of our Team Members did just that at the end of 2023 and their quick-thinking helped prevent potentially life-threatening injuries for their colleagues.

The main symptoms of a stroke can be remembered using the acronym FAST:

FACE – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.

ARMS – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.

SPEECH – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.

TIME – it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

Fort FDC Operations Manager Anna Morgan was recently able to put these exact steps into practice. She was fortunately on hand to recognise the symptoms in one of her colleagues and ensure he was able to get the help they needed.

Anna said: “Recently I have been praised for my quick reactions in identifying a member of staff who was having a stroke. Their symptoms included dizziness, slurred speech and the loss of movement in their right arm.

“I have since learned that identifying the symptoms so quickly has saved their life and hopefully their quality of life also. I attended a GSF provided First Aid course and without that, I wouldn’t have known the symptoms and they wouldn’t have got the help they needed so quickly.”

If you want to learn more about First Aid courses, check out our Health and Safety team’s Pitstop page here for more information.

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