August 24, 2020

Government Committed to Supporting Stroke Awareness Campaign

Stroke campaign urges Saskatchewan residents to recognize signs and act FAST (Face - is it drooping; Arms - can you raise both; Speech - is it slurred or jumbled; Time to Call 911)

The Government of Saskatchewan is providing funding of $50,000 in 2020-21 to the Heart and Stroke Foundation toward their FAST public awareness campaign; this in in addition to $50,000 provided last fiscal year.  It is important that people seek urgent medical care when they or their loved ones are experiencing signs of a stroke, even during this unprecedented time with COVID-19.  Approximately 1,700 people are hospitalized for stroke every year in Saskatchewan, with about 300 of those cases resulting in death.

“The FAST campaign continues to be successful in raising awareness of recognizing the signs of a stroke and the importance of calling 911 immediately,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said.  “We are proud to support this critical work done by The Heart and Stroke Foundation.”

“Now more than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic, we remind the people of Saskatchewan that health emergencies like stroke require immediate medical attention and the health system is there for them,” Heart and Stroke Director of Health Promotion and Stakeholder Relations Stephanie Rusu said.  “Ignoring the signs of a stroke and failing to call 911 can have dire consequences including greater disability or death.  We are grateful for the support of the Government of Saskatchewan for our FAST campaign and are thrilled that it will continue for another year.  These funds will help us continue to save lives by making more people in Saskatchewan aware of the FAST signs of stroke and to call 911 right away.”

Calling 911 triggers a provincial “stroke alert”, which allows health care workers at stroke centres to prepare to treat a stroke when the patient arrives.

Stroke is a medical emergency and people experiencing a stroke should never drive themselves to the hospital.  Patients arriving by ambulance receive more timely treatment than those driving themselves, and faster treatment lessens damage to the body – especially the brain.