Reducing your patients' risk of stroke

To enable you to tell your patients about reducing ther risk of stroke, we have a number of resources and information leaflets available. 

In this section, you will find our work around atrial fibrillation, blood pressure information for your patients and how to share the message of our FAST campaign. 

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and stroke

There are about 1.2 million people with AF in the UK. The risk of stroke increases five-fold for people with the condition and it contributes to one in five strokes in the UK.

AF often goes undiagnosed. It is estimated there could be another half a million people in the UK with undiagnosed AF.

AF-related strokes are often more severe with higher mortality and greater disability. Treatment with an anticoagulant significantly reduces the risk of stroke in people with AF.
 
We, in partnership with Public Health EnglandRoyal College of PhysiciansRoyal College of General Practitioners and British Heart Foundation, have created 'AF: How can we do better?'
 
Using data from the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), Public Health England (PHE), Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) and NHSIQ we've compiled a comprehensive summary of the atrial fibrillation  (AF) care. 
 
This free user-friendly document shows the state of AF care in England and each of its CCGs. 
 

AF reports by CCG - A-H

AF reports by CCG - R-Z

AF Toolkit: Detect, Protect and Perfect

Download this useful toolkit which provides methodologies, resources and support for commissioners and clinicians working to reduce AF related strokes. It is specifically aimed at preventing AF related strokes across London.

Know Your Blood Pressure

 

 

Our Prevention team is currently piloting a project integrating mobile Atrial Fibrillation checks into our Know Your Blood Pressure events. The aim is to raise public awareness of Atrial Fibrillation and signpost anyone with possible AF to their GP.

If this pilot is successful we hope to roll out a national integration of AF checks into all of our KYBP events. The progress, findings and future plans of this will be shared in our Professionals Network updates in 2018. Sign up to receive updates .

FAST

With your support, the Stroke Association can raise awareness of the FAST test and ensure your patients know how to recognise the signs of stroke.

We have free resources available for you to provide to your patients. Order or download them now to help you share the FAST message.

You can order FAST wallet cards or leaflets and download our information pack to pass on to your patients.

FAST - A stroke specialist's perspective

The “Face-Arm-Speech-Time” test has been instrumental in raising public awareness to dial 999 and call for urgent help if someone is suspected of having a stroke. It’s simple and powerful message and images have been really successful in increasing the number of patients admitted to hospital quickly – about 60% of stroke patients now arrive at hospital within four hours. But there’s work to do. Only by repeating and re-enforcing the message can we do better still.
 
Why is it so important? 85% of strokes are caused by a blocked blood vessel and for every minute the vessel remains blocked 1.9 million neurones die. In other words, the longer the vessel remains blocked, the greater the likelihood of more severe brain injury and subsequent neurological disability.
 
Clot busting treatments such as intravenous thrombolysis, or mechanical thrombectomy where a small wire is fed up into the blocked artery in the brain and the clot removed by expanding a small metal stent are very effective treatments at opening up cerebral blood vessels, restoring blood flow and limiting neuronal damage.
 
15% of strokes are caused by bleeding into the brain and are usually due to a ruptured blood vessel. Lowering the blood pressure quickly limits further bleeding and rapid neurosurgery can be life saving in some patients.
 
The earlier these treatments can be delivered the better – ideally within 90 minutes of symptoms starting and certainly within an hour of a patient arriving in hospital. Indeed 20% more patients will be completely independent at 3 months if treated within 90 minutes, compared with 10% at 180 minutes and 7% at 270 minutes.
 
The overriding message from a stroke specialist’s perspective is that there really is no time to lose – getting to hospital as soon as possible for an urgent brain scan and rapid assessment is vital. That’s why the FAST campaign is so essential in reminding the public of the need to seek urgent medical assistance.

Dr Richard Marigold, Consultant Stroke Physician, University Hospital Southampton

FAST - The real impact

Mr G, 72, had been out for dinner when he suddenly felt light-headed, then his face, arm and leg went heavy and weak and he had developed slurred speech. His wife recognised symptoms from the FAST campaign, called 999, and he was taken into hospital. He had a CT scan within 30 minutes and was given clot busting treatment one hour and 8 minutes after his symptoms started. The following morning his speech was normal, he could stand and had good use of his right arm and hand. 48 hours later he had completely recovered and at a clinic appointment three months later he explained that he was regularly walking five miles a day.

The overriding message from a stroke specialist’s perspective is that there really is no time to lose – getting to hospital as soon as possible for an urgent brain scan and rapid assessment are vital. That’s why the FAST campaign is so essential in reminding the public of the need to seek urgent medical assistance.
Dr Richard Marigold, Consultant Stroke Physician, University Hospital Southampton

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