Michelle Holmgren, Public Affairs & Community Relations Specialist
(Office) 413-967-2296 (Cell) 413-237-6743
Ware, MA (May 12, 2014) – The community is invited to come to the Emergency Department at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, daily between the hours of 6:00 am and 9:00 am, seven days a week to have their blood pressure checked at no cost. No appointment is necessary. “The staff in our emergency room is committed to encouraging our community members to take steps to better health, beginning with knowing what their blood pressure is,” said Kimberly Davis, RN, BSN, CCRN, Emergency Room Nurse at the hospital.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), about 1 of 3 US adults, 67 million people, have high blood pressure. “High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard and increases your risk of heart disease and stroke,” said Davis. “You can have high blood pressure and not know it. That is why it is called the silent killer. It is also why it is so important to have your blood pressure checked. If you know family or friends who haven't had their blood pressure checked recently, make it a point to ask them to do it in May, National High Blood Pressure Education Month.”
“Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, often times has no symptoms at all, and it is a common misconception that high blood pressure is something that affects only those who are older or obese,” said Davis. “The reality is that while our blood pressure does increase a little with age, high blood pressure can happen to anyone regardless of their age, gender or weight and high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, stroke or kidney failure. Checking blood pressures is our way of letting the community know that we care about them every day and not just when they have a health emergency,” said Davis.
“Although our Emergency Department staff focuses their efforts on emergency stroke treatments, this effort will help us to improve stroke prevention,” said Davis. “Over 40% of strokes could be prevented if high blood pressure was controlled. By helping our community members to know their blood pressure, we aim to tackle this statistic. Stroke is devastating. That’s why we’ll do all we can to prevent you and your family from having one, beginning with checking your blood pressure for free.”
The nurse manager emphasizes the importance of screening to detect potential problems before they become a chronic health issue. “Unfortunately, when left untreated, high blood pressure and related problems bring patients to our emergency department with serious medical concerns,” said Davis. “We want to identify those in our community who are at risk and help them to make lifestyle changes that will promote a long and healthy life.”
In addition to conducting blood pressure assessments, the Emergency Department team is prepared to share education on blood pressure screening, follow up, free BP monitoring cards and information for patients about the hospital’s primary care practices and other relevant services upon request.
For more information on Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, visit baystatehealth.org/bmlh.