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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 21 October, 2019

Enda wants you to take a free blood pressure check today

Stroke claims a life every six seconds but it is still not well understood.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

STROKE IS THE second leading cause of death worldwide and affects one in six people in Ireland.

Today is World Stroke day and free blood pressure checks are being offered across the country to mark the day.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said, “World Stroke Day is all about making people more aware of the signs of stroke.

“I’d encourage everyone to take advantage of the free blood pressure check points around the country for World Stroke Day.”

Doctor Angie Brown, Medical Director with the Irish Heart Foundation said: “High blood pressure often has no symptoms so that a person can feel fine and look fine but on the inside silent damage is happening to blood vessels, which can lead to a stroke.

People with uncontrolled high blood pressure are three times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack compared to people with healthy or controlled blood pressure.

“The good news is that a simple check is all it takes to detect high blood pressure, which can then be effectively managed through lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, being active and consuming less salt, fatty foods and alcohol.”

The locations where free blood pressure checks are taking place today from 10am – 6pm include:

  • Eyre Square Shopping Centre in Galway
  • Marshes Shopping Centre, Dundalk
  • South King St. in Dublin
  • The Merrion Centre in Dublin
  • Crescent Shopping Centre in Limerick
  • Mahon Point Shopping Centre in Cork

Public Opinion

A new public opinion study has found that despite stroke being the second leading cause of death worldwide – many people still do not recognise the threat stroke poses and the warning signs associated with it.

The findings indicate that while most respondents say they are knowledgeable about stroke, only about 20% realise that about 1 in 6 people will suffer a stroke.

The survey measured awareness of strokes and stroke prevention among 1,418 adults aged 18 and older in Ireland, the United States, Brazil and South Korea. It took place between October 6-13.

In Ireland – the study found that only 1 in 4 people know that smoking and high blood pressure are risk factors for stroke and 46% of respondents think men are more likely to suffer a stroke than women.

The Irish Heart Foundation’s FAST campaign aims to raise awareness of stroke symptoms. The F.A.S.T. acronym stands for:

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side?
  • Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time – time to call 999 if you see any one of these signs.

Take 2…Tell 2

A new global campaign is also being launched today to raise awareness of stroke.

“Take 2 … Tell 2”  focuses on what can be achieved in just 2 minutes. It wants people to take 2 minutes to raise their awareness about stroke and then tell two people about those signs.

Vice president of manufacturing, Respiratory and Monitoring Solutions, at Covidien, Donal Balfe said:

Stroke claims a life every six seconds, but it is still not well understood, highlighting the need to give this condition a greater voice.

“Our ‘Take 2 … Tell 2’ initiative is focused on helping people understand how many of their family and friends may be affected by stroke and educating them to prevent future strokes, which can potentially save lives.”

People are being urged to log onto the “Take 2 … Tell 2” campaign site and share their stroke-related story via video and photographs.

Read: Ireland could free up 24,000 hospital beds by letting stroke patients out early>

Read: “Every minute counts.” – Study shows why treating strokes immediately is vital>

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