News release: FAST campaign returns for a third year

The Ministry of Health and Social Services and Josée Boudreault, spokesperson for the 2017 campaign, support the stroke signs awareness campaign by the Heart & Stroke Foundation

Montréal, Québec, April 3, 2017 – Josée Boudreault (who suffered a stroke in July 2016) is teaming up with her husband Louis-Philippe Rivard to be the spokespersons for the stroke signs awareness campaign by the Heart & Stroke Foundation in Québec. The FAST campaign is back for a third year to help Quebecers know the signs of stroke and what to do if they witness them. The 2017 campaign is also financially supported by the Québec Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS).

“I am very happy to be a spokesperson for Heart & Stroke’s FAST campaign. I am very honoured and privileged to be among you, and surrounded by such a dedicated group. I know more than anyone how a stroke can strike anybody, at anytime. It is, therefore, very important to know the signs of stroke. FAST is quick and easy to learn and remember,” says radio host and speaker Josée Boudreault.

Despite the significant rise of awareness of the signs of stroke since the launch of the first FAST campaign, the number of people who recognize the signs and know what to do still needs to improve. According to a survey by Environics conducted in Québec in July 2016, 37% of adults were unable to recognize any of the signs of stroke, down from 62% in March 2015 and 50% in February 2016. Even though there has been great improvement, in light of the urgent need to act, it was essential for Heart & Stroke to remind Quebecers of the vital importance of the acronym FAST as only 9% of the population could recognize the three signs of FAST, up from 7% from two years before.

“Every 45 minutes someone suffers a stroke in Québec. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death, hospitalization and serious disability. Knowing how to react FAST can make the difference between life and death, or between a full recovery and a long-term disability. We are proud to have the backing of the MSSS for the launch of the FAST campaign. The quicker a stroke victim can get to a facility offering acute care for stroke, the better the chances of survival with little or no disability,” according to Francine Forget Marin, Director, Health Promotion and Research, Québec, Heart & Stroke.

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