People all over Ireland host and share #actFAST events in their community

By Leanne Dempsey Stroke News   |   11th Aug 2023

From Kerry to Wexford, Sligo to Carlow, Limerick to Louth, and throughout many more counties in Ireland, the pubic were busy this July highlighting the Irish Heart Foundation’s stroke awareness campaign and making a difference in their community.

First responders, local businesses, hospital staff, libraries, and leisure centres and gyms were amongst the many who responded to the call to host a local #actFAST event in their community to share information on the key signs of stroke and the importance of time in getting to hospital quickly when someone suspects they or someone else may be having a stroke.

The Irish Heart Foundation launched the 2023 F.A.S.T. campaign in February following the release of figures from the National Stroke Audit in January that showed that only 58% of stroke patients were getting to the hospital within the recommended 4.5 hours from symptom onset to receiving specialised clot-busting treatment. Further IPSOS research by the Irish Heart Foundation revealed that the amount of people who recognised the vital F.A.S.T signs was declining, with just one in 10 knowing what F.A.S.T. stood for.

Coffee mornings, shopping centre desks, county fairs, library displays, and even an underwater scuba photo shoot were just some of the ways in which community event holders decided to mark their #actFAST awareness drive, many posting their events on social media with #actFAST.

Irish Heart Foundation F.A.S.T Campaign Project Manager, Pauline O’Shea commented, “It has been phenomenal to see the uptake of our ‘Host and Share’ #actFAST request in communities all over Ireland. We thank every group who held an event up and down the country. Each person’s effort will no doubt save the lives of many stroke patients in Ireland in the future.

"The goodwill and generosity of people to help others in their local community learn the signs of stroke and the importance of an acting F.A.S.T. by calling 112 or 999 if they recognise any single one of these signs has been incredibly heart-warming and hugely helpful to this stroke awareness campaign."

Pauline O'Shea

Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke. The faster people can get to hospital for specialised clot-bursting treatment the more of the patient can be saved.

If you would like to ‘host and share’ an #actFAST event in your community, please contact Pauline on More information on stroke can be found here.


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