Emmerdale star Bhasker Patel gets behind the new ACT FAST stroke campaign

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Emmerdale actor Bhasker Patel is calling on South Asians to know the common signs of stroke highlighted in the latest Public Health England national Act FAST campaign.

Act FAST reminds people of the key symptoms of stroke and the importance of calling 999 immediately if they notice any single one of the symptoms in themselves or  others.

Stroke is now the fourth largest cause of death in the UK and South Asians are at a higher risk of having a stroke than their white counterparts due to diabetes and high blood pressure being significant factors causing stroke.

New statisitcs reveal that stroke kills over 40,000 people a year and almost two thirds leave hospital with a disability. People are most likely to have a stroke when they are 55 years of age or older, but South Asians are at a greater risk of experiencing a stroke at a younger age.

Research shows that 24% of people would wait to call an ambulance because they wrongly believe that they need to see two or more symptoms of stroke to be sure. Other barriers to dialling 999 include feeling that they need permission to act on behalf of others.

As part of the campaign new films will encourage everyone not to hesitate and make the call immediately when they see any of the key stroke symptoms:

  • 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?

Bhasker Patel, Emmerdale actor said: “Stroke is a serious medical emergency which can cause disability and ultimately kill. South Asians are twice as likely to have a stroke than white people – and we have a greater chance of having a stroke at a younger age.”

“I urge you to save your life, or somebody you love, think and Act FAST, call 999 if you notice any single one of the three key signs of a stroke: Face, Arms, Speech. The speed in which you react can make the difference between life and death.”

As part of the campaign Public Health England, has released a series of films encouraging people to call 999 if they notice the symptoms of stroke in themselves or anyone else. Featuring in the new films are television stars, Chizzy Akudolu and Emmerdale actor Bhasker Patel, alongside healthcare practitioners and stroke survivors – some who have recovered well and others who have been left with life-changing disabilities. View Bhasker Patel’s film.

Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England’s National Director for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the country, and the faster someone experiencing a stroke gets emergency treatment, the more chance that person has of surviving and avoiding serious disability.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the country, and the faster someone experiencing a stroke gets emergency treatment, the more chance that person has of surviving and avoiding serious disability.

“It is crucial to Act FAST when you see any single one of the symptoms of stroke, and do not delay making that all-important 999 call.”

Juliet Bouverie, Chief Executive, Stroke Association said:

“We know people recognise the signs of stroke but they aren’t taking the right action at the right time. A stroke is a brain attack and acting fast makes a huge difference.

“You are more likely to survive a stroke and make a better recovery if you call 999 on spotting any one of the symptoms. The quicker you act the more of the person you save.”

 

The films are also available in Hindi and Bengali.

 

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Sheena Ramchurn
Sheena, also known as 'Nishi' is our senior journalist. With 7 cups of tea during office hours we can guarantee that she will always be full of life. Nishi is our go to person when things need to get done (or eaten). If she was a cartoon character she would definitely be our Speedy Gonzales!

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