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Top sprinter Healy urges everyone to act FAST

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Phil Healy backing the Irish Heart Foundation campaign urging people to call for an ambulance immediately if they suffer a stroke

Phil Healy backing the Irish Heart Foundation campaign urging people to call for an ambulance immediately if they suffer a stroke

PA

Phil Healy backing the Irish Heart Foundation campaign urging people to call for an ambulance immediately if they suffer a stroke

The country's fastest woman is urging people to call for an ambulance immediately if they suffer a stroke.

International sprinter Phil Healy is lending her voice to an Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) campaign as it emerges that almost half of people would not make that call.

An Ipsos MRBI survey, for the IHF and the Government, shows just 55pc would dial 999 or 112 straight away.

A new Act FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Time) campaign, launching today, warns stroke patients how crucial early hospital treatment is in limiting long-term damage from a stroke.

Chris Macey, the IHF's head of advocacy, said minutes matter.

Treatment

"A stroke kills two million brain cells every minute - and every 60 seconds saved between having a stroke to getting effective treatment saves one week of healthy life for a patient," he said.

The survey of just over 1,000 people aged 15 and older, shows that ringing an ambulance is the first thing 55pc of people would do, with women more likely to do so than men.

Two per cent would wait and see, try to relax, or ignore the symptoms, with men more likely to give this response.

"One of the treatments for stroke must be administered within four and a half hours, but the HSE's most recent register shows that four stroke sufferers in every ten don't get to hospital quickly enough," Mr Macey ´╗┐said.

Ms Healy, from Cork, and the holder of the 100m and 200m Irish sprint records, is an ambassador for the campaign.

"Stroke is one of the few conditions where your own actions and the speed of your response can determine your outcome," she said.

For more details see www.irishheart.ie.


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