Have a five-minute break from shopping in Spalding this Saturday and it could save your life or prevent you from having a disabling stroke.
The Rotary Club of South Holland is once more joining forces with The Stroke Association to offer free blood pressure checks.
Trained medical professionals will do the speedy and painless checks from 10am-3pm at the South Holland Centre – and anyone with high blood pressure will be advised to see their family doctor to have it treated.
The Stroke Association estimates there could be up to 6.8million people in the UK with undiagnosed high blood pressure, putting them at unnecessary risk when it can be treated easily by GPs.
Steve Colby, the Rotary Club of South Holland’s president elect, said: “Some people don’t realise their blood pressure is high.
“We have had instances in the past where we have told people to get to their doctor fairly quickly because, unknown to them, their blood pressure is on the high side and could be a danger to them.
“There are several ways of lowering blood pressure under medical supervision.
“We normally see upwards of 200 people on these days and we usually find a small percentage who didn’t know their blood pressure was high.”
Fellow Rotarian Peter Kite said club members will be outside the South Holland Centre with “lollipop” signs to help encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of the free service.
He said the process is quite quick – unless a lot of people arrive at the same time – and people attending will be able to get guidance from The Stroke Association literature.
The national Know Your Blood Pressure Day takes place on April 23, but it’s being held in Spalding a week earlier owing to the availability of health care professionals who carry out the checks.
Stroke is the UK’s fourth single biggest cause of death.
High blood pressure is more of a deadly threat because often there are no symptoms and it can go undetected.
The Stroke Association’s deputy director of policy, Alexis Wieroniey, said: “Having a regular blood pressure check is so important. Estimates suggest there could be almost seven million people with high blood pressure who are undiagnosed and at risk of having a stroke.
“Many people have high blood pressure without realising it because it often has no symptoms.
“High blood pressure is far more common than you would think and it can be deadly, but it is treatable.
“With events like this, together we can conquer stroke.”