EDGEWOOD, Ky. -- High blood pressure, which can lead to serious complications including heart attack and stroke, is a "silent killer," Dr. D.P. Suresh said Tuesday. According to Medical News Today, the condition can remain entirely asymptomatic until it becomes a full-blown medical emergency.
The American Heart Association and St. Elizabeth Healthcare want to empower people in Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati to keep track of their vascular health before it endangers their life. To that end, the two organizations installed a blood pressure-reading kiosk in the lobby of St. Elizabeth Edgewood.
The kiosk consists of a seat, a vertical stand with a screen and a blood pressure cuff into which users insert their arm. It then measures the user's blood pressure and, if it's on the high side, gives them tips to keep it within a safe range.
"(Our goal is) for folks to check their numbers, make changes that are meaningful," said Jeff Taylor of the American Heart Association. "Quitting smoking, changing diet, and then control their blood pressure."
It's been a boon to patients such as Shauna Watts, who inherited a propensity toward high blood pressure from her mother. Because she works at St. Elizabeth Edgewood, she can slip her arm into the cuff frequently and stay in what she calls "monitor mode."
"The important thing is, you're checking it," Dr. Suresh said. "Three-fourths of the battle is right there."