Blood Pressure Kits 

In 2018, new guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) affected more than 30 million Americans — putting almost half of U.S. adults in the “high blood pressure” category. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can increase your risk of stroke, kidney disease and heart disease.

While the guidelines can be a useful tool, you and your doctor will need to work together to customize a treatment plan based on your unique circumstances.

The AHA and other organizations recommend that anyone with high blood pressure monitor his or her blood pressure at home. Home monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure in a familiar setting, make certain your medication is working, and alert you and your doctor to potential health complications.

Vibrant Health Family Clinics began a project in the fall of 2018 expand residents’ access and ability to self-monitor their blood pressure.

Through a grant from the Pierce County Aging and Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), Vibrant Health Care Coordinators collaborated with the River Falls, Ellsworth and Spring Valley library systems to create kits containing a blood pressure monitor/cuff, instructions, educational material about blood pressure, and a blood pressure tracking card. Residents are able to check out a kit for two weeks at a time and keep the resources that are supplied in the kits at no cost.

The kits allow for River Falls, Spring Valley and Ellsworth residents to take control of their blood pressure monitoring and be aware of their blood pressure outside of a medical facility. The libraries will serve as resources for patients who may not be able to afford a monitor or who need one at home for only a short time.

“Having the kits available at the libraries allows access to more residents than a stationary monitor at a location such as a local drug store or pharmacy,” said Greg Miller MD. “It also reaffirms the importance of checking your blood pressure.”

With the encouragement of self-monitoring blood pressure kit, residents can keep track of their blood pressure numbers and share a two-week snapshot with their physicians and other health-care providers. Having the two-week snapshot allows residents to see a more accurate picture of their blood pressure and take into account the variables that can affect it, such as exercise, stress, caffeine, and “white-coat syndrome.” Such variables are difficult to discern through a single reading at one time or in one setting, such as during a health care visit.

The use of a self-monitoring blood pressure kit allows residents to monitor high blood pressure, keep track of blood pressure readings between physician visits, and potentially discover a blood pressure issue that otherwise could have gone undetected until visiting their healthcare provider.

Home monitoring (self-measured blood pressure) is not a substitute for regular visits to your physician. If you have been prescribed medication to lower your blood pressure, don’t stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor, even if your blood pressure readings are in the normal range during home monitoring.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 715-425-6701 or visit www.VibrantHealthClinics.com. To learn more about what the blood pressure numbers mean, visit https://www.fairview.org/Blog/What-the-new-high-blood-pressure-guidelines-mean-for-you

About Vibrant Health Family Clinics

Vibrant Health Family Clinics (VibrantHealthClinics.com) are a primary care group based in Western Wisconsin that joined the growing family of Fairview Health Services in August, 2019. They were named a Hypertension Champion by the Center for Disease Control (CDC’s) Million Hearts initiative; and have been recognized by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA). Vibrant Health medical staff includes Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners and a Certified Diabetes Educator.