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Nurses urged to help find the ‘missing millions’ in national blood pressure campaign
National charity, the Blood Pressure Association (BPA), is calling all nurses to help identify the estimated 5.3 million adults in the UK who don’t realise they have high blood pressure, the major cause of strokes, heart attacks and heart disease.
Nurses are being urged to volunteer to carry out free blood pressure checks during the nation’s biggest blood pressure testing event, the BPA’s Know Your Numbers!® (KYN) Week, from 10-16 September. The aim of KYN! Week is to encourage people to take control of their health and know their blood pressure numbers in the same way they know their height and weight.
Over 16 million adults in the UK, that’s one in three, have high blood pressure, yet a third don’t even know they have it because the condition has no symptoms.
The BPA is encouraging nurses and other health professionals, who are trained to measure blood pressure as part of their role, to get involved in KYN! Week by setting up their own BPA ‘Pressure Station,’ i.e. a blood pressure testing site where free checks are offered to the public. All health professionals who sign up and register a Pressure Station will receive a BPA resource pack containing a variety of materials that will support their event.
Liz Wakefield, Outpatient Nurse for Worthing Hospital, who took part in last year’s event, explains: "During last year’s KYN! Week I made a life sized blood pressure monitor costume to encourage people to come and get their blood pressure checked. It was great to reach out to the wider public and raise awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure.
"Overall, it was a successful day and we gained professional recognition within the Trust. I would urge nurses across the UK to participate in this worthy event. It’s a great opportunity to share knowledge, skills and expert BPA information with the general public and it definitely makes a nice change to a typical clinical day."
Mark Hooley, BPA Project and Marketing Officer, explains: "By volunteering during KYN! Week, you will be actively helping to track down the ‘Missing Millions’ of adults in the UK who are unaware they have high blood pressure, and could potentially save lives! We especially encourage health professionals to set up their Pressure Station in a busy location, such as a hospital foyer or shopping complex, as we know this attracts people who may not otherwise have a blood pressure check at their GP surgery.
"During KYN! Week 2006, the BPA along with nurses and other health professionals across the UK, tested over 200,000 adults at 2,000 official BPA Pressure Stations. With the help of more nurses and health professionals, we hope that KYN! Week 2007 will be even bigger and better than last year’s event."
Interested in setting up your own Pressure Station? Why not visit the BPA’s website www.bpassoc.org.uk to find out more and register.
Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact:
Anne- Marie Devaney, BPA Press & PR Officer, 020 8772 4993
Sue Massey, BPA Head of Communications, 020 8772 4984
- The Blood Pressure Association (BPA) is the UK’s blood pressure charity which provides information and support to people with high blood pressure and also raises awareness about prevention of the condition. For more information visit www.bpassoc.org.uk or call 020 8772 4994
- The BPA offers free information materials to health professionals to give to patients. Leaflets include information on salt, diet and lifestyle and specialist leaflets aimed at the African Caribbean community, as they are more at risk in developing high blood pressure.