BP van drives stroke prevention

The latest driver in stroke prevention is about to hit the streets of Melbourne, delivering a roadside inspection with a difference – free blood pressure checks.

The Ryman Healthcare Blood Pressure or BP Van has been launched at Nellie Melba Retirement Village in Wheelers Hill today, marking World Stroke Day (Tuesday, October 29).

The BP Van will offer free five-minute health checks at venues including shopping centres, public events, workplaces and retirement villages in support of the Stroke Foundation’s Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check campaign.

Stroke Foundation Executive Director Marketing John De Rango welcomed the initiative and said mobile health checks were another way of reaching people in different parts of the community and raising awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure.

“Stroke is a devastating disease that strikes the brain – the human control centre. It is one of this country’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability,” Mr De Rango said.

“High blood pressure is the main risk factor for stroke, but it can be managed through medication and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.

“The difficulty we face is high blood pressure often goes unnoticed because it has no immediate symptoms. That is why having a regular health check is so important.

“We hope this BP van will help thousands of Victorians to reduce their risk of stroke in the future,” he said.

The BP van health checks will include a stroke and type 2 diabetes risk assessment. Following the check participants are emailed their personal results and relevant health recommendations, including advice to see their doctor if necessary.

Ryman Healthcare Community Relations Team Leader for Victoria Denise Thompson, said the organisation was excited to team up with Stroke Foundation to get the BP Van on the road.

“We’re a company that puts care at the heart of everything we do, so supporting the Stroke Foundation’s fight against stroke was an easy decision for us,” Ms Thompson said.

“Ryman already funds a BP Van in New Zealand, so knows the positive impact it can have in empowering people to understand their stroke risk and take steps to manage it.

“This van will save lives, there’s no doubt about it.”

Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check key statistics:

More than 500,000 blood pressure checks delivered in 2018.

15 percent of Victorians tested had high blood pressure.

More than 80 percent of participants with high blood pressure did not know they had it prior to health check.

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