Call for greater stroke awareness

A north wales mum says everyone should be able to spot the signs that someone is having a stroke.

Research out today shows 500 people die every year because both the public and health professionals don't recognise the symptoms.

Eileen Pritchard from Pen y Cae near Wrexham campaigns for greater awareness after her 3 year old daughter Daisy went for 10 days before doctors realised she had had a stroke after an operation when she was 21 months old.

Hear Eileen speaking to Heart at the bottom of the page

People who experience classic signs of a mini-stroke (known as a transient ischemic attack or TIA) are treated as a low priority, according to a UK audit of services from leading doctors.

The acronym FAST is what the NHS teach people to recognise the signs of a stroke: Face, Arms, Speech, Time.

Today's audit found low public awareness of symptoms combined with poor knowledge among health staff about treatments meant patients were not treated as emergencies.

As a result, thousands wait weeks or sometimes months for an operation that may be of no benefit to them by the time they receive it.