Our Community Stroke Rehabilitation Team found two out of five people tested had a raised blood pressure and some had an irregular heartbeat, during a stroke awareness event held recently at Eastbourne’s Arndale Centre.
The team spent time checking peoples pulse and blood pressure as well as offering advice on what they can do to reduce their risk of stroke, during Stroke Month.
Of the 75 people who had their blood pressure tested 38% were greater than 140/90 which is officially raised. Some of the blood pressures were much higher than that and people were advised to visit their GP. The team also found eight people with an irregular heartbeat who were again advised to go for a further check with their GP.
Jill Gorman, Community Stroke Specialist Dietitian said: “We had very successful day and we were able to advise those we identified with high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat to visit their GP. If these people go to see their GP there is a good chance we will have prevented some future strokes, hence reducing our workload!”
You can check your own pulse by placing the first two fingers of your right hand on your left wrist, below the base of your thumb and apply light pressure to feel your pulse beat. Feel this for one minute. Notice the rhythm (regularity) of the pulse. A regular beat is even and continuous. An irregular beat may have extra or missed beats or a series of weaker, rapid beats. It may be difficult to count. If your pulse is irregular or if you’re concerned in any way about your pulse, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. The doctor can do more tests to check your heart rhythm.
Every year around 152,000 people suffer a stroke in the UK; that is one every 3 minutes 27 seconds. A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. This could be caused by either a blockage in an artery (ischaemic stroke) or by bleeding in the brain (haemorrhagic stroke). A transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or ‘mini stroke’ is similar to a stroke, but the symptoms resolve within 24 hours. Stroke is the third single largest cause of death in the UK after cancer and heart disease. Brain injuries caused by stroke are a major cause of disabilities. By the age of 75, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 6 men will have a stroke. Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer and more men than prostate and testicular cancer combined a year.
The Community Stroke Rehabilitation Team work with people who have suffered a stroke to help them recover and regain their independence, making the most of their abilities and skills.