A joint venture between local Heart & Stroke Charity Croí, Mayo PCCC, HSE West and Mayo General Hospital will see the month of March designated as Mayo Stroke Awareness Month. This inaugural Mayo Stroke Awareness Campaign was launched in Castlebar by James Horan, Manager of the Mayo Senior Football Team.
Pictured above promoting the F.A.S.T. message at the launch of ‘Mayo Stroke Awareness Month’ are Dr. Tom O’ Malley, Consultant Physician and Niamh Murtagh, Stroke Care Clinical Nurse Specialist, Mayo General Hospital, James Horan, Mayo Senior Football Manager, Ailish Houlihan, Croí Nurse, Ann Boland, Director of Public Health Nursing and Eithne Garrick, Public Health Nurse, Mayo PCCC. Photo: Frank Dolan.
This campaign stems from the ongoing partnership between Croí and Mayo HSE on the ‘Mayo Action on Heart Disease & Stroke’ programme, which aims to reduce the impact of heart disease and stroke in the county.
Speaking about this initiative Croí Nurse and Co-ordinator of this partnership programme, Ailish Houlihan said “The main aim of this month-long campaign is to raise awareness about stroke in Mayo, and to communicate key messages on how to recognise a stroke and what you can do to prevent stroke, and to promote the Stroke F.A.S.T. campaign.”
Lending his support to this campaign, Mayo Football manager James Horan, expressed his delight at being involved in this initiative which will inevitably save lives.
A number of free public information events will take place during March.
Two public talks on Stroke awareness and prevention will be held on the 7th March in the TF Royal Hotel, Castlebar at 8pm and on the 14th March in Hotel Ballina, Ballina at 8pm. The guest speakers will include Dr. Tom O’Malley, Consultant Physician and Ms. Niamh Murtagh, Stroke Care Clinical Nurse Specialist in Mayo General Hospital. The audience will also be addressed by a stroke survivor who will give a personal account of their stroke experience.
The F.A.S.T. Message
In conjunction with these public talks, Mayo General Hospital will also host two public information days to promote the key messages of the Stroke F.A.S.T. campaign. These information days will take place in the main foyer of Mayo General Hospital on the 11th and 14th of March from 10am to 3pm.
Clinical Nurse Specialist in Stroke Care, Niamh Murtagh explains the purpose of the F.A.S.T. campaign “F.A.S.T. is designed to increase public awareness about the warning signs of stroke and to encourage individuals to act quickly to get the medical treatment they need in order to save lives, and reduce the disability a person might have after their stroke”.
Stroke destroys two million brain cells every minute so TIME IS BRAIN. The Stroke F.A.S.T. campaign highlights the urgent need to act F.A.S.T. if you suspect that somebody is having a stroke and to call 999 immediately.
F.A.S.T. stands for
F – Face – Has the face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
A – Arms – Can they raise both arms and keep them there?
S – Speech – Is their speech slurred?
T – Time – Time to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs.