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Professor Peter Rothwell says more must be done to raise awareness of the need to take rapid action after a mini-stroke in order to reduce the number of major strokes.

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 TIA. We studied 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 in more than 2,200 patients across Oxfordshire. The study found many people ignore these more minor warning symptoms and subsequently suffer major strokes that would otherwise have been preventable. Efforts are now underway to modify the FAST campaign.

Wolters FJ, Li L, Gutnikov SA, Mehta Z, Rothwell PM. Medical Attention Seeking After Transient Ischemic Attack and Minor Stroke Before and After the UK Face, Arm, Speech, Time (FAST) Public Education Campaign: Results From the Oxford Vascular Study. JAMA Neurol. 2018.

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