Thousands of Australians received a life-saving wake-up call discovering they were at serious and often unnecessary risk of stroke after taking part in Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check.
The National Stroke Foundation partnered with Chemmart Pharmacy and the Seven Network to deliver Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check on May 6, which saw Australians “roll up their sleeves” to check in on their health.
Checks were delivered at key city sites and Chemmart Pharmacies across the country and the event was broadcast live on The Morning Show. More than 2000 people were found to be at risk of stroke and referred to a general practitioner to help them manage their risk and improve their health.
National Stroke Foundation CEO Dr Erin Lalor declared the day a success saying more than 10,000 Australians took advantage of the free checks and were now better aware of stroke and their stroke risk.
“Most of those who were referred on to their GP had no idea they were at risk of stroke,’’ Dr Lalor says.
“They did not know they had high blood pressure, they did not know that this coupled with their lifestyle, age, family history or related condition put them at risk of disability or even death due to stroke.
“Surprisingly, many young people discovered they had high blood pressure as a result of getting a check and can now work with their GP to manage their stroke risk.
“It’s hard to believe a five minute check may have just saved their life,” she said.
Chemmart Pharmacist Carolyn Wynen says Chemmart was proud to once again partner with the National Stroke Foundation in delivering Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check.
“We have been overwhelmed and excited at the community’s response to Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check,’’ Wynen says.
“Thousands of Australians took advantage of free blood pressure checks provided at their local Chemmart Pharmacy as well as those at key city sites.
“Chemmart is committed to helping Australians look after themselves better and offering free blood pressure checks in local pharmacies is a simple way we can help achieve this.”
Dr Lalor says that despite being thrilled that thousands of people had increased their awareness of stroke, it was still vital that all Australians were empowered to take action to reduce their risk of stroke.
“It was fantastic to see people of all ages taking five minutes out of their day to get checked and help gain control of their health. In just one day thousands of lives were potentially saved,’’ Dr Lalor says.
“However, we know there are far too many Australians who remain unaware of the steps they can take to protect themselves from unnecessary death and disability caused by stroke.
“Simple things like being aware of and managing blood pressure, maintaining a healthy diet, stopping smoking and heavy drinking, and exercising can all help reduce our stroke risk.
“Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check has raised vital awareness about stroke in this country, now we want everyone to understand their stroke risk and do something about it before it’s too late,” she says.
Chemmart Pharmacist Carolyn Wynen taking the blood pressure of National Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Dr Erin Lalor as part of Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check.