Check out books and blood pressure cuffs at Gettysburg 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 Gettysburg Library.

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. The library will also host quarterly blood pressure screenings with health care professionals from WellSpan Health.

“High blood pressure is a silent killer because it often has no warning signs, but it can significantly increase your risk for heart attack and stroke,” said Tamara Ramer, community impact director for the American Heart Association. “Putting blood pressure cuffs in local libraries is one way that we can meet people where they are with the tools they need to check their blood pressure more frequently and share that information with their doctor.”

A new blood pressure screening and cuff loaner programs will be launching at 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. A program at Lititz Public Library launched in April this year.

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.

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