B.C. residents now have a $1.5-million boost to help them recognize the signs of stroke.
Health Minister Adrian Dix announced Wednesday the money will go towards the Hearth and Stroke Foundation’s FAST signs-of-stroke program.
FAST stands for:
- Face (is it drooping?)
- Arms (can you raise them?)
- Speech (is it slurred or jumbled?)
- Time (to call 911 right away)
Foundation CEO Adrienne Bakker said the foundation will be able to run the program for five consecutive years – a record for Canada.
“Over the campaign’s three-year duration, the proportion of people who can name two or more major signs of stroke has increased from 14 to 53 per cent,” said Bakker.
“Recognizing the signs of stroke and acting quickly can mean the difference between life and death… and a good recovery and lasting disability.”
If a stroke is left untreated, she said, the brain can lose “as many neurons in just one hour as a regular person would lose in four years. Every minute of delay is up to 1.9 million neurons dying.”
Strokes are the third leading cause of death in B.C., and the leading cause of disability in adults in Canada.
There are about 62,000 strokes in Canada each year. “That’s one every nine minutes,” Bakker said.