Check out books and blood pressure cuffs at Lititz Public Library

It’s now as easy to check your blood pressure as it is to check out a book at the local library. The American Heart Association and WellSpan Health are introducing a blood pressure cuff loaner program at libraries across the region, the newest one at Lititz Public Library in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Blood pressure screenings will be provided by WellSpan Health at Lititz Public Library from 1-3 p.m. every fourth Thursday of the month. Blood pressure cuffs will be available for anyone to check out from the library to help people with hypertension self-monitor their blood pressure at home, and one will always be available on site for library patrons to check their blood pressure when visiting the library. All cuffs will come with instructions in English and Spanish. All sites receive 10 cuffs – one to have on site at all times for patrons to use while in the library and nine to loan out.

“So often high blood pressure does not cause any symptoms so you may have high blood pressure and not know it,” said Alisha Howard, LPN, ambulatory clinical operations supervisor for WellSpan Cardiology. “Being able to stop into the library to check your blood pressure will allow you to know what your numbers are at that moment. You can take those numbers to your family doctor so they can assess you further and make recommendations to better control your blood pressure.”

New blood pressure screening and cuff loaner programs will be launching at Gettysburg Library and Coyle Free Library in Chambersburg later this year. The program first launched in February 2023 at Guthrie Memorial Library in Hanover. Programs at Lebanon Community Library and Ephrata Public Library were added later in 2023.

Nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure and many do not know it. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke, is to have your blood pressure tested. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend monitoring your blood pressure numbers at home in addition to your regular health care visits.

Alisha Howard, LPN, ambulatory clinical operations supervisor for WellSpan Cardiology, checks the blood pressure of Doreen Taylor, circulation clerk at Lititz Public Library during a free blood pressure screening