Le Lézard
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Josée Boudreault is shocked: too few Quebecers know the signs of stroke

Heart & Stroke is back with an awareness campaign on the signs of stroke thanks to the support of the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

MONTRÉAL, Feb. 24, 2020 /CNW/ - For a sixth year, Heart & Stroke is urging Quebecers to learn the signs of stroke and what to do when they see them, with the help of the FAST campaign, featuring Josée Boudreault and Louis-Philippe Rivard. Knowing the signs can make the difference between life and death, or between a full recovery and a long-term disability.

Logo: Heart and Stroke Foundation (CNW Group/Heart and Stroke Foundation)

A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs 62,000 times a year in Canada. That's once every 9 minutes. It is a leading cause of death and severe disability in Canada. It is therefore vitally important to recognize the most common signs and how to react, especially since it is the leading cause of hospitalization in the country. Still, only 18% of Quebec adults know all three signs, and 28% know none, despite a marked improvement in awareness of the signs.

"I'm really shocked. Should I be taking it personally?" laughs Josée Boudreault, spokesperson for the FAST campaign, with her trademark sense of humour. "If Louis-Philippe can learn the signs and react FAST, anyone can do it!"

The good news is that Heart & Stroke's campaign has been successful, thanks in part to the support of the Ministry of Health and Social Services. In 2015, when the campaign was introduced, as little as 2% of the population knew all three FAST signs of stroke, and 62% knew none.

"Despite the progress, it's alarming. Knowing to act FAST can make the difference between life and death, or between a full recovery and a long-term disability. How quickly you call 9-1-1 determines your chances of survival and recovery with few or no lasting effects," stated Francine Forget Marin, Director, Health Promotion and Research, Quebec at Heart & Stroke.

While the numerous awareness campaigns have certainly helped, some areas of the province are less aware than others of the FAST signs of stroke and how to react (call 9-1-1). According to a November 2018 survey, the administrative regions of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Côte-Nord, Gaspésie, Nord-du-Québec and Outaouais are well below the provincial average. That's why this campaign, which runs until the end of March and is financially supported by Quebec's Ministry of Health and Social Services for the third year in a row, is so vital.

When a person has a stroke, every second that passes before treatment counts, as the average patient loses 1.9 million brain cells per minute. The FASTer circulation can be restored, the greater the chances of recovery.

For more information, please visit heartandstroke.ca/FAST.

About Heart & Stroke

Life. We don't want you to miss it. That's why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don't miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to promote health, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy. www.heartandstroke.ca 

Learn the signs of stroke (CNW Group/Heart and Stroke Foundation)

SOURCE Heart and Stroke Foundation

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