Parish Nurse Health Tips for May 14, 2017

Parish Nurse Health Tips 05-14-17

How is your blood pressure?  This month I am focusing on

Blood Pressure & Cholesterol & Stroke Awareness.

Stroke is also called brain attack and is caused when the blood supply to the brain is blocked or suffers an aneurysm that ruptures.  When this happens, part of the brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients and will result in death of brain cells in minutes.  Another term you might have heard is TIA (Transient Ischemic Attacks) or ‘mini strokes which presents with symptoms like a stroke but are not usually permanent.  High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of a stroke and is a condition that can go undetected for a long while.  Other causes are narrowing of blood vessels (atherosclerosis), aneurysms, and atrial fibrillation.

Care providers are now becoming more pro-active in encouraging folks to be aware of their blood pressure with self- monitoring on a regular basis to get a baseline picture and learn the things that can trigger elevated readings.

Warning signs of stroke can include:

℞ Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body;

℞ Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding;

℞ Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes;

℞ Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination;

℞ Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don’t delay!   Call 9-1-1 immediately!  To help determine the correct treatment protocol, check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.  It is very important to take immediate action.  If given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-bursting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke (information gathered from American Heart Association material).

I hope to see many of you start getting your blood pressure checked here on a weekly basis this month to help you see your normal reading average as well as being aware of events that trigger elevated readings.

I encourage you to ask your care provider for information about medications you are taking for blood pressure or heart issues, and also be aware of your family history of any cardiac conditions to share with your doctor.

“I pray that you may enjoy good health and all may go well with you even as your soul is getting along well’ (3 Jn2)

See you between services today in the parish hall or in my office during Sunday School hour.

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church & School

peaceparishnurse@comcast.net