Government tackles stroke problem

A NEW campaign by the Scottish government, and backed by pharmacies, will put out a stronger message on recognising stroke.

Southside pharmacies have joined the FAST campaign to help people recognise stroke to help save lives.

From today (Monday), posters will be displayed in the windows of pharmacies to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke.

Information cards, which alert people on what to watch out for and when to dial 999, will also be placed inside prescription bags for those receiving cardiovascular disease medication.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “The FAST campaign is designed to highlight the symptoms of stroke and emphasise that calling 999 as soon as possible if stroke symptoms are suspected could limit damage to the brain and the risk of disability.

“Stroke has long played a part in the premature death of too many Scots. The more people who can recognise the warning signs, and act FAST to get help, the better. Having pharmacists involved and targeting those most at risk of stroke will help to save lives.

“Between 1995 and 2010, we’ve seen a 60 per cent cut in the number of deaths from stroke among under 75s – against a 50 per cent target - that’s a tremendous achievement and with increased awareness of the warning signs we can continue improve on this figure”.