Stroke Awareness Month 2021 Begins

Stroke Awareness Month begins today (1 May). This year, the Stroke Association is launching its ‘Save research. Rebuild lives’ campaign.

It’s aiming to raise awareness of the “damaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on stroke research”.

The pandemic has had a huge effect on almost all medical and scientific research and treatment. Stroke has not escaped.

The pandemic’s effect on stroke research

Research is being done on the long-term effect of Covid-19 on stroke survivors. The Stroke Association has funded the study based on concerns that the virus could be causing “more severe strokes in patients”.

The charity announced in February that it was launching a study looking into whether Covid-19 raises the risk of a stroke and by how much.

Dr Rubina Ahmed, research director at the Stroke Association, said: “Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability in the UK and the second biggest killer in the world. It’s extremely concerning that we’re seeing strokes happening in ways we have not seen before.

“This research is absolutely critical in understanding and treating stroke after Covid-19, to help reduce the devastating effects and ultimately improve lives. Covid-19 is here to stay, so it’s vital we can prevent and treat strokes linked with the virus.

Stroke Awareness Month in 2021

This year, the Stroke Association is focusing on raising awareness of how the pandemic has affected stroke research. The charity is encouraging people to get involved by fundraising. It said that by fundraising, people can play a vital role in helping to fund more research and rebuild more lives.

It has put together a number of suggestions for raising funds, including auctions, bake sales, dress down days at work and garden parties.

The Stroke Association has also recommended raising awareness through social media. It has provided images to download and share on social networks and has asked people to support the #SaveStrokeResearch hashtag.

Treatment needed fast

A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. This can kill brain cells and affect your body, speech and movement, as well as how you think and feel.

Currently, there are more than 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK. But the Stroke Association says this is set to rise. It is predicted that the number of stroke survivors aged 45 and over could rise to 2.1 million in 2035.

A stroke affects someone every five minutes in the UK, with 100,000 people having one every year.

Fast diagnosis and treatment are essential to the recovery of someone having a stroke. The longer a person waits for treatment, the higher their risk of dying or suffering brain damage or a disability.

It’s important to know the signs of a stroke:

Facial weakness: Can the person smile? Has their face drooped?

Arms: Can they raise both arms?

Speech: Can they speak clearly and understand what you’re saying?

Time to call 999: If you see any of these signs.


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