Acting 'FAST' for stroke and understanding modern treatments
Published on 06 Dec, 2022

Synopsis: Every first and third Wednesday of the month, The Straits Times helps you make sense of health matters that affect you.

In this episode, find out how to spot stroke symptoms and what happens after a stroke patient gets to the hospital. 

Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is restricted. It can be due to the blockage of blood vessels (ischaemic stroke) or bleeding in the brain (haemorrhagic stroke). Data from the latest Singapore Stroke Registry Annual Report, which is for 2020, showed that stroke cases have risen to 8,846 in 2020, up from 5,890 in 2010. 

Stroke is a life-threatening condition and the acronym FAST (Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time) is used to remember the signs of a stroke. Still, this can be missed.

ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo speaks with Professor Deidre Anne De Silva, the head and senior consultant at the Department of Neurology in the National Neuroscience Institute (Singapore General Hospital campus).

Highlights (click/tap above):

2:12 Why every minute counts; emergency treatment means calling 995 for an ambulance, not delaying

6:26 What happens when you get treated faster within 4.5 hours, or after delaying it for 24 hours

10:51 Early stroke symptoms to look out for

19:53 Prof De Silva's advice for stroke awareness and prevention; 4 out 5 strokes are actually preventable

Produced by: Joyce Teo (, Ernest Luis and Eden Soh

Edited by: Eden Soh

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