Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Blood Pressure Measurement
If you were diagnosed with high blood pressure, your provider may recommend one or more of the following lifestyle changes.
- Exercise regularly. Staying active can help lower your blood pressure and also help manage your weight. Most adults should aim for 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Check with your provider before beginning an exercise program.
- Keep a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing as little as 5 pounds can lower your blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetable, and whole grains. Limit foods high in saturated fat and total fat.
- Reduce salt in your diet. Most adults should have less than 1500 mg of salt per day.
- Limit alcohol use. If you choose to drink, limit yourself to one drink a day if you are a woman two drinks a day if you’re a man.
Blood Pressure Measurement Instrument
Using the proper blood pressure measurement instrument is necessary, especially for people who are at risk of having abnormal blood pressure levels. The blood pressure reflects the force which drives blood along the blood vessels in the circulatory system. To monitor the blood pressure, it is important to use aproperly calibratede quipment which can detect abnormalities that may lead to potential complications.
Where Can I Learn How To Take My Blood Pressure Myself
In Germany and other countries, people with high blood pressure can attend patient education courses that teach a number of things, including how to measure your blood pressure. As part of specialized disease management programs for people who have narrow coronary arteries , statutory health insurers offer additional healthcare services. These include patient education about high blood pressure. Some doctors practices don’t offer these courses, though.
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Measuring Blood Pressure With A Sphygmomanometer
A sphygmomanometer has three parts:
- a cuff that can be inflated with air,
- a pressure meter for measuring air pressure in the cuff, and
- a stethoscope for listening to the sound the blood makes as it flows through the brachial artery .
The scale of the pressure meter ranges from 0 to 300 mmHg. The pressure meter has a rubber pump on it for inflating the cuff and a button for letting the air out.
To measure blood pressure, the cuff is placed around the bare and stretched out upper arm, and inflated until no blood can flow through the brachial artery. Then the air is slowly let out of the cuff.
As soon as the air pressure in the cuff falls below the systolic blood pressure in the brachial artery, blood will start to flow through the arm once again. This creates a pounding sound when the arteries close again and the walls of the vessels hit each other after a heart beat. The sound can be heard by placing the stethoscope close to the elbow. Right when you start to hear this pounding for the first time you can read your systolic blood pressure off the pressure meter.
The pounding sound stops when the air pressure in the cuff falls below the diastolic blood pressure in the brachial artery. Then the blood vessels remain open. Right when the pounding stops, you can read the diastolic blood pressure off the pressure meter.
What Is A Blood Pressure Measurement
Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into your arteries. A blood pressure measurement is a test that measures the force in your arteries as your heart pumps. Blood pressure is measured as two numbers:
- Systolic blood pressure measures pressure inside your arteries when the heart beats.
- Diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure inside the artery when the heart rests between beats.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects tens of millions of adults in the United States. It increases the risk of life-threatening conditions including heart attack and stroke. But high blood pressure rarely causes symptoms. A blood pressure measurement helps diagnose high blood pressure early, so it may be treated before it leads to serious complications.
Other names: blood pressure reading, blood pressure test, blood pressure screening, sphygmomanometry
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Where Can I Get My Blood Pressure Checked
You can get your blood pressure measured
- By a health care team member at a doctors office.
- At a pharmacy that has a digital blood pressure measurement machine.
- With a home blood pressure monitor that you can use yourself.
Take this form with you on your first blood pressure visit to record important blood pressure-related information.
How Do Health Care Professionals Measure My Blood Pressure
First, a health care professional wraps an inflatable cuff around your arm. The health care professional then inflates the cuff, which gently tightens on your arm. The cuff has a gauge on it that will measure your blood pressure.
The health care professional will slowly let air out of the cuff while listening to your pulse with a stethoscope and watching the gauge. This process is quick and painless. If using a digital or automatic blood pressure cuff, the health care professional will not need to use a stethoscope.
The gauge uses a unit of measurement called millimeters of mercury to measure the pressure in your blood vessels.
If you have high blood pressure, talk to your health care team about steps to take to control your blood pressure to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Use this list of questions to ask your health care team to help you manage your blood pressure.
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What Do The Results Mean
Your results, also known as a blood pressure reading, will contain two numbers. The top or first number is the systolic pressure. The bottom or second number is the diastolic pressure. High blood pressure readings are also labeled by categories, ranging from normal to crisis. Your reading may show your blood pressure is:
|Blood Pressure Category
|120 or higher
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your provider may recommend lifestyle changes and/or medicines to control your blood pressure. Your provider may also recommend that you regularly check your blood pressure at home with an automated blood pressure monitor. An at-home blood pressure monitor usually includes a blood pressure cuff and a digital device to record and display blood pressure readings.
Home monitoring is not a replacement for regular visits to your provider. But it can provide important information, such as whether treatment is working or your condition may have worsened. Also, home monitoring may make the test less stressful. Many people get nervous about getting their blood pressure taken at a provider’s office. This is called “white coat syndrome.” It can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure, making the results less accurate. For more information about home monitoring of blood pressure, talk to your provider.
What Does My Blood Pressure Reading Mean
Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or lower. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 140/90, you may have something called prehypertension. This means that you are at risk for high blood pressure.
If you have diabetes or kidney disease, high blood pressure ranges may be lower than for other people. Or, if you are older than 65, goal blood pressure may be higher. Talk to your doctor about what is considered high blood pressure for you.
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When To See The Doctor
The doctor should check your monitor at least once a year. This ensures that the measurements are accurate.
Only a doctor can diagnose you with high blood pressure. A diagnosis requires multiple readings, so keeping a log is important. You should also log the time of day you youre your blood pressure. Contact your doctor if you have high readings for several days. Be sure to take your blood pressure log with you to the visit.
Hypotension is low blood pressure. This occurs when your systolic pressure is consistently below 90 or is 25 points below your normal reading. Contact your doctor if you have low readings. Hypotension can be a sign of shock, which is life threatening. Call your doctor right away if you are dizzy or lightheaded.
How Do I Know If My Monitor Is Accurate Or If I Am Using It Correctly
Once you buy your device, have your doctor check it for accuracy. They should check your monitor once a year. On your own, periodically check the tubing for cracks and leaks. Proper care and storage are necessary. Make sure the tubing is not twisted when you store it. Keep it away from heat.
Ask your doctor or nurse to teach you how to use your blood pressure monitor correctly. This will help you achieve good results in controlling your blood pressure.
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Why Do I Need A Blood Pressure Test
A blood pressure measurement is often included as part of a regular checkup. Adults 18 years and older should have their blood pressure measured at least once every two to five years. You should get tested every year if you have certain risk factors. You may be at higher risk if you:
- Are 40 years old or older
- Are overweight or have obesity
- Are Black/African American. Black/African Americans have a higher rate of high blood pressure than other racial and ethnic groups
You may need this test if you have symptoms of low blood pressure.
How Can I Measure My Blood Pressure At Home
Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.
SMBP means you regularly use a personal blood pressure measurement device away from a doctors office or hospitalusually at home. These blood pressure monitors are easy and safe to use. A health care team member can show you how to use one if you need help.
Evidence shows that people with high blood pressure are more likely to lower their blood pressure if they use SMBP combined with support from their health care team than if they dont use SMBP.3
Use these additional tips for SMBP:4
- Use a blood pressure log to record your blood pressure measurements.
- Take your blood pressure at the same time every day.
- Take at least two readings, 1 or 2 minutes apart.
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Blood Pressure Measurement Instrumentmanual Blood Pressure Monitors
To measure your blood pressure manually, you will need a sphygmomanometer and a stethoscope.
This instrument is often called by laymen as the “blood pressure cuff.” You will find different types of BP cuffs in use. One type is attached to the wall , but most BP cuffs are portable. These devices basically work the same way, and have the same partsthe bladder, which is connected by a tube to the bulb that has a release valve, and a pressure gauge, which is either ananeroid or mercury type.
This is a listening device that aids in the measurement of blood pressure. Its parts include:
- Diaphragm. It could be a flat disk or bell that picks up sounds produced by the heart, the lungs or the arteries.
- Tubing. They are hollow metal tubes which are connected to flexible rubber tubings that transmit sounds from the diaphragm to a pair of earpieces.
- Earpieces. They are twisted metal tubes which are connected to plastic pieces used to protect the ears while one listens to the sounds transmitted from the diaphragm.
Here is a video to help you understand how to measure blood pressure with the manual blood pressure monitors:
What Is Blood Pressure And How Is It Measured
The heart supplies the organs and tissues of the body with blood. With every beat, it pumps blood into the large blood vessels of the circulatory system. As the blood moves around the body, it puts pressure on the walls of the vessels. Blood pressure readings are made up of two values:
- Systolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart beats while the heart muscle is contracting and pumping oxygen-rich blood into the blood vessels.
- Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure on the blood vessels when the heart muscle relaxes. The diastolic pressure is always lower than the systolic pressure.
Blood pressure is measured in units of millimeters of mercury . The readings are always given in pairs, with the upper value first, followed by the lower value.
So someone who has a reading of 132/88 mmHg has a
- systolic blood pressure of 132 mmHg, and a
- diastolic blood pressure of 88 mmHg.
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How Do I Measure My Blood Pressure
Before you check your blood pressure, you should:
- Wait 30 minutes after eating or using caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco products.
- Go to the bathroom and empty your bladder.
- Rest for 3 to 5 minutes and do not talk.
- Sit in a comfortable position, with your legs and ankles uncrossed and your back supported.
- Elevate your left arm to the level of your heart. Place it on a table or desk and sit still.
- Wrap the cuff around the upper part of your bare arm. The cuff should be smooth and snug. There should be enough room for you to slip one fingertip under the cuff.
- Check the placement of the cuff. The bottom edge of it should be 1 inch above the crease of your elbow.
Below are the steps to take to use an aneroid monitor.
Below are the steps to take to use a digital monitor.
- Turn the power on to start the unit.
- On the automatic models, the cuff will inflate by itself with a push of a button. On the manual models, you have to inflate the cuff. You do this by squeezing the rubber bulb at a rapid rate.
- After the cuff inflates, the automatic device will slowly let air out.
- Look at the display screen to get your blood pressure reading. It will show your systolic and diastolic pressures. Write down the measurement in your record. The systolic pressure goes in front of the diastolic pressure. For example, 120/80.
- Press the exhaust button to release all of the air from the cuff.
- If you need to repeat the measurement, wait 2 to 3 minutes before starting.
Ambulatory And Home Monitoring
Ambulatory blood pressure devices take readings regularly . They have been used to exclude measurement problems like white-coat hypertension and provide more reliable estimates of usual blood pressure and cardiovascular risk. Blood pressure readings outside of a clinical setting are usually slightly lower in the majority of people however studies that quantified the risks from hypertension and the benefits of lowering blood pressure have mostly been based on readings in a clinical environment. Use of ambulatory measurements is not widespread but guidelines developed by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the British Hypertension Society recommended that 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring should be used for diagnosis of hypertension. Health economic analysis suggested that this approach would be cost effective compared with repeated clinic measurements. Not all home blood pressure machines are accurate, and “wide range” home blood pressure monitoring units do not have adequate evidence to support their use. In addition, health care professionals are recommending that people validate their home devices before relying on the results.
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Kusum K1* Shruti C2 Ravikant1 Vasantha Kalyani1 And Anjana Singh1
*Corresponding author:DOI10.17352/jbm.000012 Received: Accepted:Keywords
Cite this as
Mercury sphygmomanometers was developed over 100 years ago and largely unchanged since used in both hospital and ambulatory settings and considered as gold standard device for accurate blood pressure measurements. Blood pressure is important diagnostic index for circulatory function. If Blood pressure is abnormally low or high, it usually indicates greater health problem exist i.e. heart disease or stroke. So the aim of study was to compare blood pressure recordings taken with one stage approach, two stage approach and digital BP measurements among Healthy people. It was a survey approach and comparison design study were conducted and study protocol was approved by Institutional Ethics Committee. Healthy people were enrolled with total enumeration technique. Total 131 healthy people BP measurements taken with one stage, two stage approach and digital BP apparatus. Mean and SD of systolic and diastolic BP measurement obtained by one stage approach was similar to measurement obtained by digital BP apparatus whereas Mean & SD of systolic and diastolic BP measurement obtained by two stage approach are different. Systolic & Diastolic BP measurement taken by one stage approach and digital BP apparatus were similar and interchangeable and with two stage approach measured significant difference indicate measurement may not be accurate.
Blood Pressure Measurement Instrumentautomatic Blood Pressure Monitors
Automatic monitors, also known as electronic or digital blood pressure monitors, are battery-operateddevices which use microphones to detect pulsations in the artery. Inflation of the cuff wrapped around the arm inflates and deflates automatically when the start button is pressed. This type of BP monitor may be found in pharmacies, supermarkets and shopping malls. When using automatic BP monitors, avoid those which measure blood pressure from the finger or wrist since they are not accurate.
Automated devices are currently available in four generic types:
- Ambulatory blood pressure monitor
This is a small device worn for 24 to 48 hours to take your blood pressure automatically throughout the day. This is used for people who have inconsistent BP readings. It gives a complete picture of blood pressure fluctuations. The cuff on the arm is attached to another device worn on the waist, which records readings regularly. Some models transmit the readings to medical personnel who monitor your blood pressure results almost in “real time.”
- Automatic-cycling non-invasive blood pressure monitors
These monitors make BP measurements repetitively at regular time intervals and often include other vital signs and alarms. Designed for bed-side BP monitoring in clinics and hospitals, they provide accuracy but are often expensive.
- Spot-check NIBP monitors
- Automated NIBP monitoring devices
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