Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) is the single most important vascular risk factor for stroke.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Imogen Watson, and Neurologist and Lead Stroke Physician of the Acute Stroke Service at Palmerston North Hospital, Dr Ivan Iniesta, support the eighth annual Stroke Foundation Big New Zealand Blood Pressure campaign in October 2016.
“As health providers we support this important message for people to get their blood pressures checked to reduce their risk for stroke.
“The Stroke Foundation Big New Zealand Blood pressure campaign urges as many people to get their blood pressure checked as possible. High blood pressure puts too much pressure and stress on the walls of blood vessels and increases the risk of both haemorrhages (brain bleeds) and brain infarcts (blood clots). A person with high blood pressure is up to seven times more likely to have a stroke than someone with normal or low blood pressure. Blood pressure checks save lives.”
Last year, around 20,300 people had their blood pressure checked during the campaign. Campaign organisers hope the number will be even higher this year. It’s especially hoped for an increase among the Maori and Pacifica population. Last year 12% of blood pressure checks were done in Maori and only 4% of Pacific Island heritage.
Imogen will be available handing out leaflets promoting the campaign in the hospital main entrance between 12.30pm to 2.30pm on 4 October. Between 10am-2pm on Saturday 1 October blood pressure testing sites will be held at New World and PAK’nSAVE stores, as well as selected non-supermarket sites across New Zealand.
Take advantage of the opportunity to get a blood pressure check.
Know the signs of stroke. Think FAST
FACE - Is their face drooping on one side? Can they smile?
ARM - Is one arm weak? Can they raise both arms?
SPEECH - Is their speech jumbled or slurred? Can they speak at all?
TIME - Time is critical. Call 111.
Stroke is always a Medical Emergency - Act FAST
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945