Think FAST – know the signs of stroke

News article

23 July 2018

This year’s FAST stroke awareness campaign has started. It aims to make everyone aware of the symptoms of stroke and the need to call 111 immediately if it appears someone is having a stroke. 

Using the FAST summary, it’s easy to highlight key stroke symptoms and the need for quick action:

  • F Face – is it drooping on one side?
  • A Arm – is one arm weak?
  • S Speech – is it mixed-up, slurred, or lost?
  • T Take Action – call 111 immediately.

Around 9,000 New Zealanders have strokes each year. It’s essential people understand what a stroke looks like and that they need to call 111 immediately if they see someone with these symptoms. Getting anyone who’s had a stroke to treatment as soon as possible gives them the best chance of recovery. 

An evaluation of last year’s campaign noted a significant increase in awareness of stroke symptoms amongst New Zealanders.

“The fact more people are calling 111 when they suspect someone is having a stroke is really important because time is critical,” reiterates the Ministry’s Clinical Leader (Stroke) Associate Professor Anna Ranta. “Recognising what’s happening and getting medical help fast can save lives and dramatically improve recovery.” 

This increased level of awareness was less among Māori and Pacific peoples. The 2018 campaign focuses on Māori and Pacific populations while continuing to raise stroke awareness and the need for quick action amongst the general population.

The FAST campaign, now in its fourth year, is being featured on a variety of channels including television, radio and online. The Ministry of Health has worked with the Stroke Foundation and the Health Promotion Agency to develop the campaign.

Read more about stroke, its signs and symptoms in Your health: Stroke.

Back to top