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Arvada residents check in for blood pressure check

Community Resource Center offers monthly blood pressure checks

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As the woman stepped up to the receptionist at Community Recreation Center, she said: “It’s always too high.”

“What’s always too high?” the receptionist asked.

“My blood pressure.”

On Jan. 6, members of the Arvada Fire Protection District’s Emergency Medical Services Team stopped by the Community Recreation Center, 6842 Wadsworth Blvd., to offer free blood pressure and sugar checks to their patrons.

“Seniors are our at-risk folks, and while they may not always enjoy the doctor, they like to be in the know,” said Amber Jones, community risk reduction specialist. “This is a good place to reach out to that group and it’s a place where they feel comfortable.”

About 60 patrons popped briefly into the lobby, sat down at one of three tables, de-jacketed themselves and had their blood pressure and sugar checked.

“My husband and I were diagnosed with pre-diabetes and so we’re taking a class at the Y and thought that I might as well come here to be checked,” said Debby Hall, an Arvada resident who works out at the rec center. “It’s just handy.”

While talking with paramedics, patrons learned what good blood pressure and blood sugar readings are, where they stand on the scale and listened to advice.

“One-hundred-twenty over 80 is what this resting muscle is for — it’s supposed to lift 120 pounds,” said Robert Putfark, the EMS captain for the Arvada Fire Protection District. “We like to see people come in monthly so we can see trends. When you increase that pressure, whether fast or gradually, over time that causes the heart to work harder and get bigger. Neither is good and both are really concerning.”

The paramedics offer the services the first Wednesday of each month, but encourage residents to check their numbers as often as possible.

“Blood pressure itself means nothing,” Putfark said, “but to see it over time, that’s when we know if we need to refer them to a physician to check them out, or take them into the hospital.”

After checking their stats, paramedics took a moment to also talk with each person about their health and life.

“It’s just about helping people,” Putfark said.

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