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Watch Paul's Testimonial: He suffered from an acute stroke and received thrombectomy treatment

To access the most effective treatment, it’s key that the cause of a stroke is identified quickly. Learn how you can act FAST



European Stroke Awareness Support Image of brain with circles surrounding it

Currently 1 in 9 Europeans die from a stroke each year1

To help individuals survive and recover effectively from a stroke, they need to get the best treatment quickly. That’s why this European Stroke Day, we’re not just raising awareness of the causes and types of stroke, but the most effective treatments too. That way, we can all work together to ensure more people survive and recover from stroke.

What is a Stroke? 


A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is suddenly blocked by a clot (ischemic stroke) or is weakened, causing bleeding (haemorrhagic stroke). This means that blood supply is reduced, leading to brain cell and tissue damage. Depending on the severity of the stroke, a number of functions in the body can be effected or it can prove fatal.

There are lots of reasons why a stroke (or a mini-stoke) may occur. The narrowing and hardening of arteries caused by aging, certain medical conditions, or lifestyle factors is one of the main risk factors for stroke.

Image supporting ischemic stroke

Ischemic Stroke

A blood clot forms in the brain vessels, blocking the flow of blood and oxygen.

Image supporting haemorrhagic stroke

Haemorrhagic Stroke

When a blood vessel bursts or partially ruptures, damaging brain cells and causing swelling.

Image of Brain to support cryptogenic stroke

Cryptogenic Stroke

The cause of this type of stroke is usually unknown.

What happens when you have a stroke?  


To survive and recover from a stroke, getting the right treatment quickly is key. Each minute of delay results in an estimated loss of 1.9 million neurons, which, over the course of an hour without treatment, can be roughly compared to 3.6 years of normal brain ageing.

See below for the signs and symptoms to look out for in those suffering from a stroke to help you act FAST.

FAST - Step 3 Face drooping. Graphic image with arrow pointing down to indicate face drooping

Face Drooping

Does one side of the face droop or go numb?

Ask the person to smile.

FAST - Step 2 Arm weakness graphic image of arm not being able to hold something

Arm Weakness

Is one arm weak or numb?

Does the arm drift downward?

Ask the person to raise and move both arms.

Image of FAST - Step 3 Speech Difficulty.  Graphic image with person and speech frequency waves in the background

Speech Difficulty

Is speech slurred? Are they unable to speak or find something you say difficult to understand?

Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.

FAST time to call for help (UK number)

Time to Call for Help

If the person shows any of these symptoms,

even if they go away, call emergency services

and get them to a hospital immediately.

Patient Pathway Guide Video 

It’s possible for individuals to survive and recover from a stroke if the symptoms are recognised and they’re given the most effective treatment quickly.

Watch our simple patient pathway guide video to learn more. 

Image with statistical evidence about thrombectomy treatments

Ask your surgeon or doctor about Thrombectomy treatments

Approximately 2 in 10 stroke patients3 could be suitable for thrombectomy and this has been proven to be highly effective in helping individuals recover.4 As a result of this, it’s considered to be a European Stroke Association (ESO) Gold Standard treatment.4

A meta-analysis of the five landmark trials showed that 46% of patients who had a thrombectomy experienced good outcomes, including quicker recovery times and reduced disability, compared to 26.5% who received only standard medical treatment.5

To make sure you and your loved ones can access this life-saving treatment in the event of an ischemic stroke, ask your surgeon or doctor about thrombectomy treatments.

Some Strokes can be caused by a heart rhythm problem called "Atrial Fibrillation". Long term heart monitoring may help identify this heart problem and prevent another stroke from happening.


  1. Wilkins E, Wilson L, Wickramasinghe K, et al. European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics 2017 edition. Eur Hear Network, Brussels. 2017:192. doi:978-2-9537898-1-2
  2. Getting stroke treatments to people earlier to prevent debilitating outcomes. (2022). Available at:
  3. Papassin J, Favre-Wiki IM, Atroun T, Tahon F, Boubagra K, Rodier G, Bing F, Marcel S, Vallot C, Belle L, Hommel M, Detante O. Patient eligibility for thrombectomy after acute stroke: Northern French Alps database analysis. Rev Neurol (Paris). 2017 Apr;173(4):216-221. doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2017.03.010. Epub 2017 Apr 1. MID: 28377089.
  4. Turc G, Bhogal P, Fischer U, Khatri P, Lobotesis K, Mazighi M, Schellinger PD, Toni D, de Vries J, White P, Fiehler J. European Stroke Organisation (ESO) - European Society for Minimally Invasive Neurological Therapy (ESMINT) Guidelines on Mechanical Thrombectomy in Acute Ischaemic StrokeEndorsed by Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE). Eur Stroke J. 2019 Mar;4(1):6-12. doi: 10.1177/2396987319832140. Epub 2019 Feb 26. PMID: 31165090; PMCID: PMC6533858.
  5. Goyal M, Menon BK, van Zwam WH, Dippel DW, Mitchell PJ, Demchuk AM, D valos A, Majoie CB, van der Lugt A, de Miquel MA, Donnan GA, Roos YB, Bonafe A, Jahan R, Diener HC, van den Berg LA, Levy EI, Berkhemer OA, Pereira VM, Rempel J, Mill n M, Davis SM, Roy D, Thornton J, Rom n LS, Rib M, Beumer D, Stouch B, Brown S, Campbell BC, van Oostenbrugge RJ, Saver JL, Hill MD, Jovin TG; HERMES collaborators. Endovascular thrombectomy after large-vesse ischaemic stroke: a meta-analysis of individual patient data from five randomised trials. Lancet. 2016 Apr 23;387(10029):1723-31. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00163-X. Epub 2016 Feb 18. PMID: 26898852.