Shoppers will be offered free ‘pulse checks’ at a special event being held in Wolverhampton to mark Stroke Prevention Day on Thursday (12 January, 2023).

The Stroke Association’s Stroke Prevention Day aims to raise awareness of atrial fibrillation – where a person’s heart beats with an irregular rhythm – as a major cause of stroke. 

When this happens, the heart is unable to empty all of the blood out of its chambers with every beat. This leftover blood can form clots which can travel from the heart into the brain, blocking off blood flow and causing a stroke.

People can check themselves to see if they may have an irregular heartbeat by taking a simple pulse check.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Atrial fibrillation is linked to around 1 in 5 strokes – some 40 per day – and are more severe and are more likely to result in death or serious disability.

“Early detection of atrial fibrillation is important so that the correct treatment can be initiated to control symptoms and reduce the risk of having a stroke.

“Early detection is also part of our efforts to address cardiovascular disease across the city so, this Stroke Prevention Day, please check yourself and your family for signs of atrial fibrillation.”

People can have their pulse checked by health care professionals at the Health Hub in the Mander Centre (opposite Rymans) on Thursday between 9am and 5pm.

Alternatively they can check themselves or their family and friends at home – as demonstrated in this Stroke Association video. 

Pulse checks also form a part of the NHS Health Check, offered to people aged between 40 and 74 without any pre-existing conditions once every 5 years. They assess an individual’s health to identify relatively simple lifestyle changes they could make to lower their risk of developing serious but preventable conditions.  To find out more about NHS Health Checks please visit NHS Health Check and, if you believe you are eligible, please contact your GP to arrange an appointment.

For more information visit Stroke Prevention Day.