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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 117

Date:- 20 September 2003

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Trust backs ‘Eat a Rainbow’ campaign for Stroke Awareness Week

STROKE SPECIALISTS at the Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust are backing this year’s ‘Eat a Rainbow, Beat a Stroke’ campaign during Stroke Awareness Week (Sept 29th to Oct 5th).

Research says that food plays a crucial role in people’s good health and increasing evidence suggests that a healthy diet can lower the risk of stroke. 

Figures show that eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of a stroke by a third, which is why the stroke team at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust is helping to raise awareness about the benefits of healthy eating.

The Trust is promoting the Stroke Association ‘Eat a Rainbow, Beat a Stroke’ campaign, which encourages people to fill their plates with lots of colour such as carrots, tomatoes, apples, bananas and oranges.

To do this, the stroke services team is putting up information boards in the main corridors of Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals, where patients, visitors and staff will find plenty of tips about dietary advice and stroke prevention.

Dr John Horsley, a Specialist Stroke Consultant at the Trust, said:- “We hope that we can encourage plenty of people to change their eating habits to include more fruit and veg. Altering your diet by eating a diet high in fruit, vegetables and plant-based foods, but low in fat and salt, can help you to stay healthy and reduce the risk of stroke. Ideally, you should aim to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day. However, increasing your intake by just one serving a day can lower your risk of a stroke by around 6%.”

A healthy diet is also thought to reduce the risk of a number of other conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

The information stands at both hospitals will be up from Friday, September 26th, to Friday, October 3rd. People who visit can find out lots of healthy eating tips and the 10 steps to reduce the risk of stroke.

Anyone who would like an information pack about the campaign and healthy eating tips can contact Lucy Bower, Stroke Specialist Nurse, on 01695 656992.

Report with thanks to Nicky Williams at Health Start.

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ACTION ON PRE-ECLAMPSIA AND SUPERDRUG PROMOTING SAFER PREGNANCIES IN MERSEYSIDE

NATIONAL maternity charity, Action on Pre-Eclampsia announced today that it has joined forces with leading health and beauty retailer Superdrug, to launch a major awareness campaign between 13th and 19th October 2003 across the country.

Pre-eclampsia affects around 70,000 pregnancies each year, representing 1 in 10 women. While for many the symptoms will be mild, many others will have a much worse experience. Although these symptoms should all be detected in routine antenatal checks, early, traumatic births are not uncommon. Between 600 and 1000 babies and around 4-6 women die each year in the UK as a result of pre-eclampsia.

Throughout the week the Superdrug Pharmacy in Southport, will be offering free information leaflets from Action on Pre-Eclampsia to all pregnant women or those considering having a baby, informing them of the signs of pre-eclampsia to look out for. 

There will also be volunteer midwives and sufferers of pre-eclampsia in the store to answer any questions that pregnant women may have concerning the condition and pregnant women, or those considering having a baby will also be able to have their blood pressure checked free of charge by the store pharmacist or Midwife. 

A special website has been developed www.preempt.org.uk for the duration of the campaign, providing valuable information on pre-eclampsia and a list of participating Superdrug stores. Women who are concerned about pre-eclampsia can also call the Helpline on 020 8427 4217.

Mike Rich, Chief Executive of Action on Pre-Eclampsia says,
“It is vitally important that pregnant women attend all their ante-natal appointments for blood pressure and urine checks as well as familiarise themselves with the signs and symptoms of this common and potentially fatal pregnancy condition.”


David Clark, Superdrug’s Head of Pharmacy says, “We’re delighted to be working with Action on Pre-Eclampsia to offer free blood pressure checks and advice leaflets in our pharmacy stores. With so many women affected by pre-eclampsia, it is important to highlight the dangers to all pregnant women and hopefully avoid unnecessary suffering.”

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