Pennine Acute Trust supports World Stroke Day – 29 October

stroke team
Pennine Acute Trust supports World Stroke Day – 29 October
16 October 2014

The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is supporting World Stroke Day on 29 October by holding an information stand at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury.

The day which is celebrated across the globe is seeking to raise awareness about stroke and ways to combat it.

This year the campaign is focusing on “I am Woman” – Stroke affects me, which reinforces the fact that while stroke does not discriminate between sexes, women are more at risk of having a stroke and in many cases are the primary caregiver to an affected husband, father, partner, daughter or son.

Representatives from the Trust’s specialist stroke team at Fairfield General Hospital, the Stroke Association and the early supportive discharge stroke teams from both Pennine Acute and Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust will be on hand from 10am until 4pm in the main entrance at Fairfield General Hospital to offer advice and support around the effects of stroke.

They will be offering free blood pressure testing, health promotion on how to prevent a stroke, as well as information on treatments given for acute stroke and the importance of acting FAST when you suspect a stroke. The team will also be checking peoples’ pulses to try and detect a cardiac arrhythmia which causes 25% of all strokes that are preventable. If you or your family have suffered a stroke, there will be advice from the community team and the Stroke Association on support that can be accessed in the community.

Since September 2013, all new acute stroke patients within the Trust are now referred to the specialist Primary Stroke Centre (PSC) at Fairfield General Hospital. Two new wards have been developed for sub-acute and stroke rehabilitation patients, while ward 5 remains the PSC with 16 beds. All stroke patients are now routinely brought directly by ambulance to Fairfield which has one of the top three “door to needle” times in the country for stroke thrombolysis.

Catherine Curley, stroke specialist nurse at Fairfield General Hospital, said:

”Stroke is a medical emergency and is the third leading cause of death in the UK. Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a clogged or burst artery. The interruption deprives the brain of blood and oxygen and causes brain cells to die.

“If a stroke is suspected then an ambulance should be called immediately. There are three stroke specialist centres in Greater Manchester offering clot busting treatment to patients who have suffered the type of stroke caused by a blood clot. Fairfield General Hospital is one of these centres, however the treatment can only be administered within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms to have any benefit, but the sooner it is given the better the outcome.

”As a primary stroke centre, Fairfield General Hospital has one of the best door to needle times in the country for thrombolysis which is the drug used to dissolve the blood clot. The national average is 62 minutes. Fairfield General Hospital has an average of 38 minutes, with the best time achieved 17 minutes from the minute the patient arrives at hospital, to them being given the injection.”

The World Stroke Organisation encourages people to remember the warning signs of spotting a stroke. Remember FAST:

F – Face. Smile – is one side drooping?
A – Arms – raise both arms, is one side weak?
S – Speech – speak, are they unable to, are the words jumbled or slurred?
T – Time – act fast and seek immediate emergency medical attention. Time lost may mean brain function lost.

Over 17 million people worldwide will experience a stroke each year and stroke is the leading cause of disability. Six million lives are lost to stroke each year and every six seconds stroke kills someone.

For more information on the campaign visit www.worldstrokecampaign.org

Pictured: Catherine Curley (far left in black nurse uniform) with the specialist Stroke Team at Fairfield General Hospital