KNOW Your Numbers! Week saw a stroll into nursing history when vintage blood pressure monitors were demonstrated at a Teesside care home.
Staff and residents at The Gables Care Home, on Highfield Road, Middlesbrough, have been checking their numbers as part of the national blood pressure awareness campaign, promoted by charity Blood Pressure UK.
Two vintage blood pressure monitors were brought into the home by activity coordinator Alison Cochrane and staff took the opportunity to demonstrate them.
The devices belong to Alison’s mother, Norah, a former Registered Adult Nurse (RGN) and matron of Poole Hospital, and date back to the early 1960s and late 1980s.
While the care home’s residents get their blood pressure checked regularly as part of their care, staff often forget to keep track of their own numbers, according to deputy home manager Sue Hill.
So Sue and carer Linda Dimmock took the opportunity to demonstrate the vintage devices and give fellow staff members a check-up.
Sue said: “It’s amazing to see these old items and a bit of fun to demonstrate them to residents. They would have been a critical part of a nurse’s kit.
“Of course, the blood pressure monitors we use now are smaller and more accurate, but many of the staff and residents can remember the old devices.
“The idea behind the day was to raise awareness of the importance of healthy blood pressure, not just for the residents but for our staff and wider community also.
“While staff monitor residents closely, they may forget about themselves, so we used the old devices to give several members of staff a check while showing everyone how they worked.”
Resident James Haslam also helped to demonstrate the devices for fellow residents. He said: “I remember these from GP appointments.”
Resident Joyce Calvert added: “It is important to get your blood pressure checked. I know the staff make sure mine is fine but they need to check their own as well. That goes for everyone else too.”
Know Your Numbers! Week takes place every September to raise awareness of high blood pressure and encourage all UK adults to get a blood pressure check. For further information visit www.bloodpressureuk.org.