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FAST stroke campaign returns

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/06/2017

The successful national campaign highlighting the signs of a stroke and the need to act quickly is being repeated.

The FAST campaign focuses on the key signs of a stroke and emphasises the swift action needed if you're concerned.

"Each year in New Zealand about 9000 people have a stroke. Early identification and treatment is crucial to reduce the likelihood of brain damage and lasting harm," says Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.

"During the first campaign, which ran between June and August last year, there was a noticeable lift of around 40 calls a week to St John Ambulance for stroke or suspected stroke.

"Frontline clinicians reported seeing patients and their families who cited the FAST messaging, saying it prompted them to act.

"The 2017 awareness FAST campaign kicks off today and will run for three months across TV, radio and other multimedia channels.

"The campaign will have an additional focus on population groups who are at particularly high risk of stroke, such as Maori and Pacific."

FAST stands for Face, Arm, Speech and Time (to call 111) - sudden changes to a person's face such as drooping, loss of arm strength or impaired speech are signs that they're experiencing a stroke.

The campaign has been developed by the Ministry of Health, Health Promotion Agency and Stroke Foundation.

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