Leicester research highlights stroke symptoms

Researchers in Leicester have highlighted two more symptoms that may indicate someone is having a stroke.

A project by the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust found leg weakness and loss of vision were strong indicators to look out for.

A recent NHS campaign advised people to check if a patient's face had fallen to one side, if they had trouble lifting their arms or had slurred speech.

Professor Ross Naylor said people should look out for five signs.

"The [NHS] FAST campaign was very successful, but it's important that people know leg weakness and loss of vision are also signs to look out for.

"It's my fear that many people may not be aware that anyone experiencing one or both of these additional signs, on their own or with one of the already recognised symptoms, may be an indicator that they or a loved one is having a stroke and should also seek urgent medical advice," Professor Naylor said.

'Act quickly'

Simon Cook, head of operations for the Stroke Association East Midlands, said the FAST test was useful because it was easy to remember for most people.

"The reality is that far too many people don't realise what a stroke is and what causes it.

"The FAST test helps people identify three of the most common signs of a stroke, which are facial weakness, arm weakness and slurred speech.

"There certainly are other symptoms like blurred vision and leg weakness. However, we believe the key thing is that people remember to act quickly when they see the signs of a stroke and call 999."

Professor Naylor, who is based at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, carried out the research as part of a two-year Innovation Award funded by the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority.

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