Are you measuring Blood Pressure Using Automatic Instruments/ BP machines correctly? Think Again

PHYSICIAN

12/20/2021 2 min read

Blood Pressure commonly referred to as Hypertension is a fairly common silent killer. Very frequently automatic BP instruments are used for the purpose. Digital BP Machines are much more convenient to use when compared to mercury-based BP machines. However, this is also a common source of error. So how to use these machines appropriately. 

Experienced physician Dr HP Singh My Physician’s Clinic, Faridabad shares common do’s for measuring and recording blood pressure.  

Prepare Yourself

  • Relax. Use the restroom if required. Avoid beverages like tea coffee etc for at least 30 minutes before measuring BP

  • Sit relaxed for more than 5 minutes uncrossed legs with feet on floor and back supported well

  • Avoid using any mobiles interaction or even reading …

Technique

  • Read instrument use instructions which can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer

  • Use appropriate cuff size for mid-arm measurement.  

  • As a rule of thumb, the cuff should be able to cover

    • Length should be ¾ to double of arm circumference

    • Width should cover ½ to 1/3rd of the arm

  • Place the BP Cuff around an inch from the elbow joint, which is about the heart level with the arm rested on the table. The cuff should be tight enough around the arm and loose enough so as to slide two fingers underneath the cuff comfortably. Make sure that the skin does not get squeezed due to cuff inflation. 

Selecting and Using BP Machine or device

  • Use rigorously tested and validated devices with reference such as ISO 81060 certifications. Manufacturers share these compliances on their models. 

  • Most devices will indicate an error if the inflation is inadequate. 

  • Take more than one reading in a seated position to assess usual BP, preferably with a gap of 1-2 minutes.

Recording of the Values 

  • An average of the two or more readings are taken 

  • Complete recording to build pressure readings,  both upper value that is systolic blood pressure and lower value that is diastolic blood pressure, should be recorded. 

  • A pattern of morning and evening values is quite helpful. 

  • The recorded pressure helps the patient to understand whether the preparation is running in normal range prehypertension of hypertensive range.

  • Share with your physician regularly

Every 2nd / 3rd person is hypertensive. High BP a silent killer. diagnosis can prevent complications
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