NI Chest, Heart & Stroke

If you think someone has had a stroke…

A stroke is a ‘brain attack’, caused by a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. It can happen even in teenagers and young adults. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. So recognising the signs of stroke and calling 999 can be crucial to someone’s chances of recovery.
The signs of a stroke are:
  • F – has your FACE fallen to one side? Can you smile?
  • A – can you raise both ARMS and keep them there?
  • S – Is your SPEECH slurred?
  • T – TIME to call 999 if you see any one of these signs.

Reducing your risk

Anyone can have a stroke at any age. The youngest person currently attending a Stroke Scheme with Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke had a stroke when he was only 20. About 4000 people have a stroke each year in Northern Ireland. A third of these people die within the first month. A third make a full recovery. And a third end up living with some sort of permanent disability. The 20 year old in the Stroke Scheme now has to walk with a stick. So it is worth knowing the signs so that you can get treatment quickly and it is worth looking after yourself to ensure that you reduce your risks. And of course, the choices you make now will have an impact on how healthy you are in later life too. These are the things that significantly increase the risk of having a stroke include: Smoking Being overweight Lack of exercise Poor diet Exceeding the recommended daily alcohol limit.
To find out more about how to reduce your risk of having a stroke now or in later life, click here

You think someone has had a heart attack

  The symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person, but some of the most common signs are:
  • Pain in the chest and maybe also the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach.
  • The pain is usually severe and lasts longer than 15 minutes.
  • Maybe also shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, sweating or dizziness ·
  • Pain doesn’t go away just by resting.
If someone has these symptoms it is important to call 999 immediately. At the hospital they will be able to carry out tests to see if it is a heart attack. To find out more about heart attacks, click here.
If someone is recovering from a heart attack
If someone is recovering from a heart attack, they need to look after themselves. This is what they should do:
  • Be in a smoke free environment
  • Eat healthy food
  • Keep active – but they should check with their doctor what they should
  • Keep their blood pressure under control
  • Keep to a healthy weight
You can find out more about recovering from a heart attack, click here.