Liverpool FC Foundation are getting behind a major campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of stroke – the UK’s silent killer.

The Know Your Pulse campaign, which is being run by the European Brain Council, Atrial Fibrillation Association and the Stroke Association aims to raise awareness of atrial fibrillation or AF, which causes irregular heartbeats and is a major cause of strokes.

The campaign is being supported by the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network (NWC AHSN) which is coordinating special free pulse testing days, one of which will take place at the 'Healthy Liverpool' event supported by the Liverpool FC Foundation outside the World Museum from 10am to 4pm on June 27.

The testing days will allow people who think they might be at risk to take a simple pulse test to see if they have AF. People will also be able to get advice on other stroke symptoms and steps to take to stay healthy.

Dr Liz Mear, CEO of the NWC AHSN, which is sponsoring the two events, said: "This is a fantastic campaign, which we hope will help to raise awareness of AF and the threat that it poses. Getting your pulse taken is really simple and pain free, but if you've got AF, this simple test could uncover some really important underlying health issues.

"We're delighted to be supporting these events and it's great that Liverpool FC Foundation are getting involved and doing their bit to increase awareness of the danger of AF and the risks it poses.

"There are more than 14,600 strokes per year in the North West, and over 157,300 people living with the effects of stroke - so it's a major health issue in our communities. These testing days will give help to give us a good indication of the levels of AF in the community, which will inform some elements of how the threat of stroke is tackled going forward - so it's important that people step up and take part."

Ten pairs of tickets for behind-the-scenes stadium tour of Anfield will be up for grabs as part of the campaign. Everyone who takes part in the testing days will be entered into a raffle and will be in with a chance of winning a tour.

Mark Haig, head of operations at Liverpool FC Foundation said: "We are happy to be supporting NWC AHSN's AF testing event and helping to raise awareness of atrial fibrillation. It's important that the local community know the importance of getting their pulse checked to any reduce the risk of stroke." 

Jeanette Lunt, assistant regional manager for the stroke association said: "Palpitations, breathlessness, chest pain or fatigue are common symptoms of atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat. We can get an indication of whether we have the condition by taking our pulses. The Know Your Pulse events are a great opportunity for people in Liverpool to get theirs checked and find out how to reduce their stroke risk.

"Someone in the UK has a stroke every three and a half minutes, we need to do everything we can to change that. Come along to find out how you can reduce your risk of stroke and what support is available to you if you've been affected by stroke."

A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 152,000 strokes in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.

For more information on both events, visit: