5 Jun 2017

Stroke awareness campaign launches

12:50 pm on 5 June 2017

A ministry-funded campaign to boost awareness of the symptoms of stroke will save lives if people take notice, the Stroke Foundation says.

Stroke Foundation headquarters in Wellington.

Stroke Foundation Photo: RNZ / Gareth Thomas

The campaign, being launched today, is funded by the Ministry of Health and the Stroke Foundation, and will run ads on TV, radio and online for three months.

The foundation's chief executive, Mark Vivian, says a little knowledge could prevent many deaths.

"The campaign will make a difference in people's ability to recognise a stroke," he said.

"Time is brain - there are 9000 strokes a year, a third of those are fatal.

"Strokes are now the second-largest killer of New Zealanders, so this is a big issue.

Facial drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulty are the three most common signs of a stroke, and the campaign says if any or all of those are present, people should call an ambulance.

A similar campaign launched this time last year.

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