World Stroke Day
Stroke knows no boundaries — every 2 seconds someone in the world has a stroke. Globally someone dies of this leading cause of disability every 5 seconds, ending 6.4 million lives each year.
October 29, 2015 marks the 10th annual World Stroke Day, established by the World Stroke Organization (WSO) to underscore the serious nature and high rates of stroke all over our planet, raise awareness of its prevention and treatment and ensure better care and support for survivors.
WSO was created in October 2006, when the International Stroke Society merged with the World Stroke Federation with the purpose of creating one world voice for stroke. Today, WSO has more than 2,000 individual members and over 60 society members, including the American Stroke Association, from 85 different countries.
Their goal — and ours — is to bring awareness of stroke warning signs to as many people as possible around the world. Along with the ASA, the WSO has adopted the acronym F.A.S.T. to make stroke warning signs easy to understand and widely known.
Last year, the WSO awarded the ASA first place among stroke organizations for our campaigns to educate Americans on the importance of recognizing the warning signs of stroke and taking action.
Our work is cut out for us — currently only 8 percent of respondents could recall the meaning of all four letters in the acronym, F.A.S.T. Knowing the warning signs increases the likelihood of getting treatment, and getting rapid access to treatment can make the difference between full or partial recovery and permanent disability.
Oftentimes survivors say they don’t need reminding about stroke warning signs because they’ve already had a stroke. However, a new study refutes that. In it, survivors who knew the warning signs and had received training on describing stroke symptoms to EMS workers, as well as having video presentations from survivors on preparedness, were much more likely to arrive at the ER within three hours of symptom onset. Clearly, everyone needs to know the warning signs.
The American Stroke Association is turning to music to help people remember the signs of stroke and the action to take. The F.A.S.T. Song turns the most common stroke warning signs into an earworm. Once you know the song, you will be ready to spot a stroke F.A.S.T. for yourself or someone you know.
This World Stroke Day (Oct 29), people of all ages and all cultures are invited to sing The F.A.S.T. Song in the musical styling of their choice and share it with friends.
Sing along with us to our hip-hop, gospel, Latin, or pop tracks, or write your own tune to the F.A.S.T. Song lyrics. Through music we will learn and teach the warning signs to end stroke.
Together, we can end stroke.