By Autumn Waite, Snohomish County Fire District 7 Public Information Officer.
Join Fire District 7 in celebrating Stroke Awareness Month and EMS Week. We are taking this opportunity to help you monitor your health!
Join us at one of our free blood pressure check events:
- Wednesday, May 21, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Clearview Albertsons (17520 Highway 9, Snohomish 98296)
- Thursday, May 22, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Mill Creek QFC (926 164th St. SE, Mill Creek 98012)
Why is it important to monitor your blood pressure?
Blood pressure by definition is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Monitoring your blood pressure is just one important aspect of monitoring your overall health. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can injure or kill you. It's sometimes called "the silent killer" because high blood pressure has no symptoms, so you may not be aware that it's damaging your arteries, heart and other organs.
Possible health consequences that can happen over time when high blood pressure is left untreated include:
- Damage to the heart and coronary arteries, including heart attack, heart disease, congestive heart failure, aortic dissection and atherosclerosis (fatty buildups in the arteries that cause them to harden).
- Kidney damage.
- Vision loss.
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Memory loss.
- Fluid in the lungs.
- Peripheral artery disease.
Monitoring your blood pressure is crucial in preventing a stroke. High blood pressure causes the heart to pump harder to move blood through the body. This can weaken blood vessels and damage major organs such as the brain.
It’s important to learn stroke warning signs and how to respond to them. Emergency treatment may be available if a stroke is recognized FAST and 911 is called.
Use the FAST test to remember stroke warning signs:
- F = FACE Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- A = ARMS Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- S = SPEECH Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
- T = TIME If you observe any of these signs (independently or together), call 911 immediately.