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Nurses called to help prevent 'ticking time bomb'

The Blood Pressure Association (BPA) is inviting nurses to take part in Know your Numbers! Week 2008 to help raise awareness of the blood pressure ‘ticking time bomb'.

Know your Numbers! Week (8 -14 September) is the nation’s biggest blood pressure event which provides free blood pressure checks at thousands of ‘Pressure Stations’ run by healthcare professionals nationwide.

The BPA is encouraging nurses, and other healthcare professionals, to run Pressure Stations to help reach some of the 5.3 million adults in the UK who do not know they have high blood pressure. Undetected and uncontrolled high blood pressure is the most common cause of strokes, heart attacks and heart disease. During Know your Numbers! Week 2007, more than 253,000 adults had their blood pressure tested at 2,755 BPA Pressure Stations.

The BPA won an award at The Charity Awards 2008 for the campaign, which aims 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.

Know Your Numbers! Week gives health professionals’, qualified to measure blood pressure as part of their role, the opportunity to meet professional goals, reach people they might not normally see, and benefit from the publicity generated by this successful event. Health professionals who register with the BPA by Wednesday 23 July, will receive a BPA resource pack that includes testing guidelines, leaflets, posters and record cards.

Community nurses, occupational health nurses and specialist heart/stroke nurses are among those who have run Pressure Stations during previous Know your Numbers! Week events.

Sue Oliver, Modern Matron at Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, who took part last year, said: "The BPA have found a novel way to encourage people to think seriously about high blood pressure. We ran a Pressure Station last year and met a diverse group of people including young men who don’t seem to have as many casual opportunities to have blood pressure checks as women. We were also able to provide them with essential health information on this condition and healthy living generally".

Mark Hooley, BPA Projects and Marketing Officer who organises the event, explains: "Undiagnosed high blood pressure is a ticking time bomb and a potentially life threatening condition. But with the help of health professionals during Know Your Numbers! Week, we can identify some of the UK adult population who are unaware that they have high blood pressure and potentially save lives! We’d really like more people to set up Pressure Stations in community locations, like barber shops, street markets or bingo halls, as they are great places to reach people who may not otherwise have a blood pressure check".

"Know your Numbers Week works. Last year, 40% of the people we tested were found to have high blood pressure readings."

Interested in setting up your own Pressure Station? Visit the BPA’s website to find out more and register.

Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact:
Michelle Gederon, BPA Press & PR Officer, 020 8772 4993

  • The Blood Pressure Association, the UK’s blood pressure charity, provides information and support to people with high blood pressure and raises awareness about prevention of the condition. For more details visit  the website or call 020 8772 4994.
  • The BPA offers 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. The over 55s and the South Asian community are also at risk of developing high blood pressure.

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The Charity Awards 2008 Winner

The Charity Awards 2008 Winner

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