PEOPLE in South Tyneside are being urging to be aware of the dangers of a stroke.
GPs on the South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group – which represents the borough’s 28 practices – are supporting the Stroke Association’s Action On Stroke Month, which runs throughout this month.
Every year in the borough, about 400 people suffer from a stroke and further 200 will have a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke.
Although the symptoms may not last long, a TIA should be taken seriously.
It is a sign that a person is at risk of going on to have a major stroke.
Dr Matthew Walmsley, chairman and GP lead for the commissioning group, said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting Action On Stroke month.
“It’s vital that we raise awareness of TIA, as this is a sign that patients are at risk of a stroke.
“The quicker patients can get access to specialised treatment, the more likely they are to make a better recovery. “If someone – or any members of their family– show signs of a stroke, they must call 999.”
It is estimated that approximately 10,000 strokes can be prevented every year in the UK, if TIAs and minor strokes are treated in time.
Many people affected do not realise that they have had one, and do now seek medical advice.
To recognise symptoms of a stroke, the FACT test can help:
n F – Facial weaknesses: can the person smile or has their mouth or eye drooped?
n A – Arm weakness: can the person raise both arms?
n S – Speech problems: can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
n T – Time to call 999: if you see any of these signs, seek immediate medical attention.
Volunteers from the Stroke Association will be at Asda in Coronation Street, South Shields, from 10am to 3pm on May 25.
Details of other events being held in the borough can be found on the Stroke Association’s website at www.stroke.org.uk/strokemonth.