Local agencies offering free blood pressure screenings to cut down on strokes

Wesley Medical Center (KSN Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Stroke is the #2 cause of death worldwide behind heart disease and the leading cause of disability.

In the United States alone, about 795,000 people have a stroke every year. Strokes are 80 percent preventable, according to the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association (ASA.)

One in three American adults have high blood pressure, which is strongly correlated with strokes. About three in four people who have a first stroke, have blood pressure greater than 140/90 mm HG. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mm HG.

In an effort to cut down on strokes here in Wichita, the local AHA and ASA are teaming up with Sedgwick County and Wesley Medical Center to offer free blood pressure screenings  during the month of May.

Today, Wednesday, May 24 and Wednesday, May 31, the free screenings will be offered by Wesley nurses and Sedgwick County EMS from 10 a.m. to noon at 525 N. Main St. Wichita, KS 67203 on the second floor.

Awareness is also key when it comes to stroke treatment. The F.A.S.T. acronym is designed to help people recognize the most common stroke warning signs and what to do if one occurs:
 
  • F – Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A – Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S – Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly? 
  • T – Time to call 911: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.
The American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke™ initiative is sponsored nationally by Medtronic, and locally American Stroke Month is sponsored by Wesley Medical Center.
 
For more information about stroke or American Stroke Month click here.