May 2018 is Stroke Awareness Month

Published: 22/05/2019

May 2018 is national Stroke Awareness Month. We take a look at why it's such an important month for our Devon communities and what you need to know to stay safe all through the year.



We take a look at why it's such an important month for our Devon families, and what you need to know to stay safe all through the year.




First things first - what is a stroke?

You've probably seen the advert telling you to think FAST, helping you identify the signs of stroke and know when to call 999.

But what exactly is a stroke, why does it happen and to who?

Here's what Stroke Association, the UK's leading stroke charity, say:



A stroke is a medical emergancy, and can happen to anyone, although certain factors (such as age) can increase your risk of the condition. There are 2 different types of stroke, which the NHS explains in detail here. They affect the brain in different ways and can have different causes.

Each year in the UK there are more than 100,000 strokes. That's around one stroke every five minutes.

Public Health England reports that the average age of people in England who have a stroke for the first time is 68 for men and 73 for women.

However, although you are more likely to have a stroke if you're over 65 years old, about a quarter of strokes happen in younger people. In fact, The Stroke Association reveals that there are over 400 childhood strokes a year in the UK.





Suspect a stroke? Think FAST

The main aim of the FAST campaign is to help you recognise the symptoms of a stroke - and to think and act fast.

FAST requires an assessment of thee specific symptoms of stroke:


  1. Facial weakness - can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?

  2. Arm weakness - can the person raise both arms?

  3. Speech problems - can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

  4. Time - to call 999

The signs can be mistaken by some as a ‘funny turn’, but stroke is a medical emergency and getting the right treatment, fast, can save lives and reduce the devastation that stroke can bring.

By calling 999 you can help someone reach hospital quickly and receive the early treatment they need. Prompt action can prevent further damage to the brain and help someone make a full recovery. Delay can result in death or major long term disabilities, such as paralysis, severe memory loss and communication problems.


Stroke support for familes in Devon


There are a range of local stroke services available in Devon, supporting individuals and their families affected by the condition.

Here is a list of stroke servies in the Exeter area.

At Bluebird Care, our award-winning care team is on hand to provide practical, emotional and social support to Devon families, helping loved ones continue to enjoy a happy, healthy and independent life at home.

Find out about your local Bluebird Care stroke support services here, or contact your local, award-winning care team on 01392 244 000 to #talkcare.