Time is of the essence when someone suffers a stroke.
That is why the Saskatchewan branch of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada says funding from the provincial government will help educate the public on the warning signs.
“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,” Stephanie Rusu, Heart and Stroke director of health promotion and stakeholder relations, said in a statement Monday.
“Ignoring the signs of a stroke and failing to call 911 can have dire consequences including greater disability or death.”
Roughly 1,700 people in Saskatchewan are hospitalized for stroke each year, with about 300 of those cases resulting in death.
The stroke campaign will urge people to recognize the signs of a stroke and act FAST:
F: Face — is it drooping?
A: Arms — can you raise both?
S: Speech — is it slurred or jumbled?
T: Time to call 911
Officials said urgent medical care is required if someone experiences the signs of a stroke.
They said calling 911 triggers a provincial “stroke alert,” which allows health-care workers at stroke centres to be prepared when the patient arrives.
The Saskatchewan government said it is providing $50,000 in funding to the Heart and Stroke Foundation for its 2020-21 campaign. The province said this is on top of the $50,000 provided last year.
“The FAST campaign continues to be successful in raising awareness of recognizing the signs of a stroke and the importance of calling 911 immediately,” said Jim Reiter, Saskatchewan’s health minister.
“We are proud to support this critical work done by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.”
Rusu said the organization is thankful the province is supporting the campaign.
“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.”