Text Size:    +   -

Recognition of Stroke

5th Edition
2015 UPDATED - January 2015
 

Stroke Recognition and Response Module Overview

Working Together with Stroke Survivors and their Caregivers to Achieve Optimal Outcomes is an imperative within Stroke Recognition and Response. The 2015 update of the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations Stroke Recognition and Response module emphasizes the need for a coordinated and consistent approach to public awareness and education of the signs of stroke. Education of the public is the responsibility of many levels of service providers, from government and health system leaders to healthcare providers, educators, and health organizations.

This module has been updated in tandem with the launch of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s new Signs of Stroke Campaign and is part of a comprehensive educational resource kit.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s new national campaign to raise awareness of the signs of stroke is based on FAST, a simple and effective educational approach that is being used in many countries with success.

As shown in the figure below, FAST stands for: Face – is it drooping? Arms – can you raise both? Speech – is it slurred or jumbled? and, Time – to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency service right away. As a public awareness approach, FAST has been translated into several other languages around the world. In French areas of Canada, the campaign will use VITE, for Visage, Incapacité, Trouble de la parole and Extrême urgence. FAST and VITE are short words that provide an easy way to remember the major signs of stroke, and remind people to take action as quickly as possible.

Heart and Stroke Foundation FAST Signs of Stroke Campaign

FAST

The primary underpinnings of recognition and response requires individuals and healthcare team members to work together to identify stroke as quickly as possible and follow a standardized series of critical steps for stroke survival to maximize treatment options and improve health outcomes.

The critical steps for stroke survival are identified in the figure below and are applicable to most patients exhibiting the signs of stroke. Individual patient circumstances, geographic issues and resource access will affect the specific steps in early stroke management for each patient; however, the steps outlined in the figure below reflect stroke best practice for the majority of patients exhibiting the signs of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Critical Steps in Early Stroke Management

Critical Steps Stroke Care

Updates and Changes in the Stroke Recognition and Response 2015 Update

The 2015 update of the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations Stroke Recognition and Response module reinforces the need for a coordinated and organized approach to public awareness of the signs of stroke. Education of the public is the responsibility of many levels of service providers, from government and health system leaders to healthcare providers, educators, and health organizations. The recommendations focus on public and professional awareness of the signs of stroke.

Highlights of the updates as well as new additions to the Stroke Recognition and Response module recommendations for 2015 include:

  • Clearer articulation of the core principles and aspects of education on the signs of stroke
  • Refined definitions and content for stroke recognition and prehospital responses
  • Inclusion of the Heart and Stroke Foundation new Signs of Stroke campaign that promotes the FAST mnemonic
  • Development of the Critical Steps in Early Stroke Management model, with broad collaborations from paramedics, emergency department and acute stroke professionals and system leaders.

Guideline Development Methodology:

The detailed methodology and explanations for each of these steps in the development and dissemination of the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations is available in the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations Overview and Methodology manual available on the Canadian stroke best practices website at http://www.strokebestpractices.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/CSBPR2014_Overview_Methodology_ENG.pdf

Citing the Stroke Recognition and Response 2015 Module

Wein T, Casaubon L, Coutts S, Boulanger JM, Travers A, Poirier P, Alcock S, Cox S, Gierman N, Glasser E, Joiner I, Lang E, MacPhail C, Smaggus K, and Lindsay MP. Stroke Recognition and Response Module 2015. In Lindsay MP, Gubitz G, Bayley M, and Smith EE (Editors) on behalf of the Canadian Stroke Best Practices and Advisory Committee. Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario Canada: Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Comments

We invite comments, suggestions, and inquiries on the development and application of the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations.

Please forward comments to the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Stroke Team at strokebestpractices@hsf.ca

Stroke Recognition and Response Module Contents: