‘Knowing your pulse can save your life’ – Specialist warns of stroke risks as tests being offered in Thornton

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A health organisation in the North West will be conducting pulse tests in Thornton to identify early onset of heart problems.

Innovation Agency, a Health Science Network, will be using mobile electrocardiogram devices to help signs of atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregular pulse which can lead to a stroke.

Tests being carried out in Thornton.

Tests being carried out in Thornton.

It is all part of a campaign from November 18 to 25 to mark Global AF Awareness Week aimed at informing people about the heart rhythm disorder.

It is estimated that up to 10,000 people are unaware that they are living with the condition.

While, Innovation Agency has identified up to 2,000 people in North West with having atrial fibrillation and are now seeking to find more potential sufferers.

AF Ambassador Sue Whittaker from Blackpool has praised the cause for its work in the community. “So far, I’ve had three positive results and all three are now getting treatment so it’s all been worthwhile,” she said.

“There’s still plenty more people to test but it’s getting the message across that it can happen to anyone. You don’t have to look ill, you can carry out quite a physical job and still have a problem, so it’s all about encouraging people to look after themselves better and the message is slowly getting through.”

Around 70 AF ambassadors will be at Thornton Medical Centre to check for irregular pulses and teach people on how to measure their own pulse.

Dr Julia Reynolds, Associate Director and Head of Programmes at the Innovation Agency has also warned of the dangers of heart issues and spotting irregularities with heart rate.

She said: “Something as simple as knowing your pulse can save your life and reduce your risk of a debilitating or life-threatening AF-related stroke – the most severe type of stroke.

“It only takes a minute to take your own pulse, and is so simple that people of all ages, young and old, can learn how to do it.

“We’re working with a variety of organisations throughout the North West to test as many people as we can to help us address this important health issue.”