The FAST campaign has been successful in getting people to respond quickly to the symptoms of major strokes, but our research has found that this public awareness campaign has not improved the response to minor stroke and TIAs. Many people ignore these more minor warning symptoms and subsequently suffer major strokes that would have been preventable.
- Professor Peter Rothwell, Head of the Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia
The study of more than 2,200 patients across Oxfordshire was published in JAMA Neurology. It looked at the association of the FAST (Face-Arms-Speech-Time) public education campaign with delays and failure to seek medical attention after a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or mini-stroke.
Previous research by Peter Rothwell has shown that the risk of major stroke is high after a TIA, and that quick medical attention can substantially reduce that risk. However, patients often fail to recognise or act on their symptoms. He believes that the ongoing public awareness campaign 'should also focus on the less severe symptoms that are typical of a mini-stroke, to help people to also understand their significance'.