Midlanders could be putting the lives of friends and relatives at risk by their failure to recognise common symptoms of a stroke, according to a new survey published today.
Understanding stroke symptoms is critical to ensuring treatment as quickly as possible, but 40 per cent of people in the West Midlands mistook facial weakness, speech problems, and limp limbs as signs of a heart attack, while 24 per cent believed they were indicators of meningitis.
The NOP survey also revealed 36 per cent of people in the region would advise someone with stroke symptoms "to have a lie down", while only 61 per cent would call an ambulance.
A stroke is a life-threatening, medical emergency if treatment is not sought immediately. Failure to act quickly can increase the patient's chance of disability or death. Each year more than 67,000 people die in the UK as a result of stroke.
Midlanders' misunderstanding of the condition is further compounded by the fact 19 per cent think a stroke occurs in the heart, as opposed to the brain.