Blood pressure measurement techniques

Blood pressure measurement techniques

Blood pressure is not the same throughout the day. It varies with time of day or night, exercise, excitement or stress. Because of this normal variation, it is important to measure the Blood Pressure a few times on different occasions.

If the Blood Pressure reading is consistently equal to or higher than 140 systolic and 90 diastolic or both, then the doctor will diagnose you as having high blood pressure or hypertension.

Blood pressure should be measured in a standard manner and the equipment used must meet certification criteria.

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How to measure blood pressure?

The following blood pressure measurement techniques are recommended :

1.The patient should be seated on a chair with their backs supported and their arms bared and supported at heart level. They should not smoke or ingest caffeine during the 30 minutes preceding the measurement.

2.The patient should rest for 5 minutes before blood pressure is taken. An appropriate cuff should be used. The bladder within the cuff should encircle at least 80 percent of the arm.

3.Measurements should be taken with a mercury sphygmomanometer. A recently calibrated aneroid manometer or a validated electronic device can be used. Finger monitors are not acceptable. Blood pressure devices used for home measurement should be checked periodically by comparing readings with simultaneous readings taken with a mercury device.

4.Both the systolic (SBP)and diastolic (DBP)blood pressure is recorded. The first appearance of sound is taken as SBP and the disappearance of sound is the DBP.

What to remember

Your blood pressure varies, and this is important to note as you should take a measurement roughly at the same time each day if you want to be safe and certain. If you follow the four steps above you will be able to accurately measure blood pressure.


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