Support for national stroke awareness campaign in Aberystwyth


Stroke specialist nurses from Bronglais Hospital and Ceredigion’s Life after Stroke coordinator held a dedicated stand at Morrison’s supermarket in Aberystwyth this week to support a national awareness-raising campaign.
The ‘Lower your risk of stroke’ stand was held in the entrance to the supermarket on Wednesday 8 March, offering blood pressure checks, pulse checks and stroke primary prevention advice and information.
Overall the team provided stroke prevention advice to over 40 people and provided blood pressure and pulse checks for 39 people, of which 12 were referred onto their GP for further assessment.
In Wales more than 7,000 people have a stroke each year and it is one of the leading causes of severe adult disability. There are over 65,100 people in Wales and 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.
By taking action on three of the biggest stroke risk factors, the number of strokes across Wales could be reduced by up to 50%. The campaign asks people to do three simple things:
  • Get their blood pressure checked once a year.
  • Check their pulse for any irregularity.
  • Seek medical attention immediately should they experience any stroke symptoms such as facial weakness, arm weakness or slurred speech.
The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the number of strokes caused by high blood pressure, Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIAs), also known as mini-strokes.
Claire West, Bronglais Hospital’s Stroke Specialist Nurse, said: “Stroke is a devastating event that causes loss of independence as well as loss of life. Many of the risks for stroke are avoidable or treatable.
“Stopping smoking and being fit and active are important actions that people can take for themselves. Knowing your blood pressure and ensuring it is normal is important too. An irregular heart rate (called atrial fibrillation) is a risk factor that can be addressed when it is identified.
“We are raising awareness of these risk factors and the importance of early recognition of stroke to our population, and we will be providing bilingual information and blood pressure and pulse checks.” Remember in the event of a stroke to act FAST, and look out for;
Facial weakness - can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
Arm weakness - can the person raise both arms?
Speech problems - can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
Time to call 999

Photo: Left to right - Bethan Howells, Stroke Specialist Nurse, Bronglais Hospital; Lisa Evans, Life after stroke co-ordinator, Ceredigion; Claire West, Stroke Specialist Nurse, Bronglais Hospital.

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