UW and Big Horn County Library System Offer Blood Pressure Cuffs for Checkout

University of Washington and Big Horn County Library system are offering blood pressure cuffs for check out.

Self-measured blood pressure monitoring kits are now available for checkout at libraries in Lovell, Deaver and Frannie, and they will come to the Basin and Greybull libraries in June.

The kits are offered through a collaborative pilot project involving the Wyoming Center on Aging (WyCOA) at the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention Program and the Big Horn County Library System.

The kits, available in both English and Spanish, include an automated home blood pressure cuff; blood pressure logbooks; educational materials from the American Heart Association; information on what blood pressure is; and ideas for healthy lifestyle changes. The kits also include a resource directory to local community-based organizations and referral resources to the Healthy U chronic disease self-management program and Cent$ible Nutrition Program. 

The loan period is three weeks. Blood pressure kits can be renewed, up to two times, if there are no holds on the item. Failure to return a blood pressure cuff kit will result in a blocked account until the item is returned. This program also is currently available to residents in Albany, Campbell, Carbon, Crook, Laramie, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, Sheridan, Sublette, Sweetwater, Washakie and Weston counties, with plans to be in all 23 counties by the end of June.

Nearly half of adults in the United States -- 47 percent, or 116 million -- have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, or are taking medication for hypertension, and 24 percent with hypertension have their condition under control, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Wyoming, 30.7 percent of adults have been told that they have high blood pressure, according to the Wyoming Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention Program.

While self-measured blood pressure is not a substitute for regular visits to primary care physicians, it is a way for individuals to see and track their numbers, giving them more information that can be communicated to their doctors.

“Information is power and, the more information a patient and their doctor have, the better the treatment plan,” says Dian True, a senior project coordinator with WyCOA. “Better treatment plans lead to better overall health. That’s the goal of this project -- to work to improve the health of our communities.”

The Big Horn County Library System is committed to building and supporting strong, healthy communities. This project provides a unique opportunity to offer the community more information about self-monitored blood pressure and its important role in health.

“We’re excited to partner with the Wyoming Department of Health and WyCOA to bring these much-needed resources to the community,” says Gail Gillard, director of the Big Horn County Library System.

To learn more about the Big Horn County Library System, go to www.bhcwylibrarysystem.org.

To learn more about WyCOA and its programs, go to www.uwyo.edu/wycoa/.