Symptoms of stroke focus of new campaign in Flanders


The Flemish public health ministry and platform Flanders’ Care have launched a new campaign to help people recognise the symptoms of a stroke

Check the signs

Flemish public health minister Jo Vandeurzen and Flanders’ Care have kicked off a campaign this week to help people be more aware of the symptoms of stroke so they can get help more quickly. Recognising a stroke and taking immediate action can not only greatly limit any brain damage but also save lives.

About 52 people a day suffer a stroke in Belgium. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly interrupted. The risk increases with age, and strokes are the main cause of death among women older than 75.

An important part of the new campaign “Herken een beroerte” (Recognise a Stroke) is a simple test – the FAST test – to recognise the symptoms. When a person has a stroke, every minute is of vital importance. FAST refers to face, arm, speech and time.

Corners of the mouth hanging down when someone tries to smile is a symptom, as is the inability to raise both arms at the same speed simultaneously. Having any trouble speaking or understanding what people are saying are also signs of stroke. If signals point to a stroke, the person should go immediately to an emergency department, not just to their doctor.

Photo: Ingimage