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How To Accurately Take Blood Pressure

The Position Of Your Arm Is Essential

How to Take a Blood Pressure Manually and Correctly.

A simple change in the height of your arm or hand can change the results

Whether or not you make any effort with your arm is another factor that can skew the result.

  • For this reason, doctors suggest supporting your arm fully on a table or flat surface.
  • The arm should remain immobile and be comfortably available to the patient.

How Often Should You Take Your Blood Pressure

Scinetist from Harvard Medical School recommend you to take your blood pressure twice a day for a week. The first reading should take place early in the morning, before taking any medication, and the second, later in the evening. Then, keep on doing it twice a month, unless your doctor advice you differently.

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Determine When To Take Your Blood Pressure

For most women, Dr. Zusman recommends taking two to three blood pressure readings in the morning and two to three readings at night, a few times a week. Donât go overboard and take your blood pressure constantly. Thatâs counterproductive. âYou become so focused on your blood pressure that every time the cuff comes near your arm your blood pressure goes up just from the anxiety,â says Dr. Zusman.

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Talk To A Doctor About Blood Pressure

Talk to a PlushCare doctor if you have questions about your heart health or blood pressure. High blood pressure often goes unnoticed because it shows no symptoms but high blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and other serious conditions. Take control of your health by making an appointment today to speak with a PlushCare doctor.

You do not need a prescription to buy a home blood pressure meter. Most pharmacies sell blood pressure monitors. Devices are usually displayed near over-the-counter medications. You should consider the cost, size, and how easy the meter is to use. Some devices cost more than others, which is why some insurance companies will help pay for your device. Blood pressure monitors are also covered under health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, and health reimbursement arrangements. Ask your PlushCare doctor to help you find the right device.

What Is The Most Accurate Way To Take Blood Pressure

SMBP Infographic

What is the most accurate way to take blood pressure? The most simple and common way to measure a blood pressure is the brachial artery occlusion method, commonly known as the Cuff.. This is accurate, but the accuracy depends on correct cuff sizing and operator use.

How to measure high blood pressure accurately? Measure your bloodpressure twice daily. The first measurement should be in the morning before eating or taking any medications, and the second in the evening. Each time you measure, take two or three readings to make sure your results are accurate. Your doctor might recommend taking your bloodpressure at the same times each day.

What is the best blood pressure monitor? The consensus pick as the Best Blood Pressure Monitor is the the Omron Blood Pressure Monitor 10 Series BP786N. The Best Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor is the Omron blood pressure monitor 7 series BP652N, and the Best Budget Blood Pressure Monitor is the Santamedical Adult Deluxe Aneroid Sphygmomanometer.

How do you take blood pressure at home? 4 Steps to Take Your Own Blood Pressure at Home with Ease & Accuracy Step 1: Settle down, and sit comfortably. Step 2: Use your device to take 2 or 3 readings. Step 3: Record your results. Step 4: Repeat daily. To really control your blood pressure, you really have to be active in your pursuit of good health!

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Tips For Checking Your Own Blood Pressure

There are certain factors that can cause blood pressure to temporarily rise. For example, blood pressure normally rises as a result of:

Try to avoid as many of these factors as you can when taking your blood pressure. Also, try to measure your blood pressure at about the same time each day. Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure several times during the day to see if it fluctuates.

Do Measure Your Blood Pressure On The The Same Arm

When youve chosen which arm to take blood pressure readings on, stick with that arm for consistency. Studies have shown there can be small discrepancies in blood pressure readings between arms and as long as it is 10mm Hg or less there is no need to be concerned. For long term blood pressure trending its helpful to have consistent data from the same arm.

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Find The Correct Equipment

Some equipment can have measurement errors, so many people dont manage to measure their exact blood pressure stats. The ideal thing is to get hold of equipment that is approved by a national professional organization, like the American Heart Association, for example.

This institution offers on its website a list of criteria for choosing a home blood pressure monitor.

What Your Readings Mean

How to measure blood pressure accurately

The top number refers to your systolic pressure, which is the force of the blood against the artery walls as your heart beats. The bottom number is your diastolic pressure, the blood pressure between heartbeats.

If the top number is 130 or more or if the bottom number is 80 or more, you should talk to your doctor, who can determine what lifestyle changes you need to make and if you need to take any medication.

Over time, high blood pressure can lead to complications, says Dr. Distel. It can lead to chronic kidney disease, strokes, heart disease and eye problems.

But with some simple changes like increasing exercise, eating a well-balanced diet, quitting smoking and reducing salt and alcohol, you may be able to lower your blood pressure.

The biggest thing is lifestyle changes, says Dr. Distel. Try to lower your sodium or salt intake in your diet and increase your aerobic activity.

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What Is The Proper Way To Take Your Blood Pressure

  • What Is the Proper Way to Take Your Blood Pressure? Center
  • Blood pressure is the force exerted on your artery walls by the blood that circulates from your heart to other parts of your body. High blood pressure is generally considered a silent killer because most people with hypertension do not have any symptoms. The best way to monitor your blood pressure is through regular checkups.

    Nowadays, you can easily do this at home using an automated blood pressure machine or sphygmomanometer. But how can you make sure youre doing it right? Heres how to do it step-by-step:

  • Sit on a comfortable chair with back support.
  • Make sure the chair is in front of a dining table so you have arm support.
  • Hold out your hand over the table.
  • Place the machine on the table, roughly at the same level as your heart.
  • Place the inflatable cuff of the blood pressure machine around your arm, about four fingers above the elbow.
  • Make sure your arm is adequately supported.
  • Press the start button, and the machine will start reading your blood pressure.
  • You will feel tightening from the cuff as the machine measures your blood pressure.
  • The cuff will gradually loosen, signaling that youre done.
  • Once you are done, the display on the machine will show your blood pressure as systolic and diastolic numbers. The systolic reading refers to pressure exerted when your heart pumps blood around the body. The diastolic reading refers to pressure when the heart relaxes and refills with blood.

    Multiple Readings Should Be Taken

    One blood pressure reading is not enough to get an accurate measurement. While the specifics of how many readings are necessary can change based on many factors, the essential need for multiple measurements does not.

    To ensure an accurate reading, your healthcare provider should be checking your blood pressure over time, and watching the how the values change between office visits. More than this, though, he should actually be taking your blood pressure more than once during each office visit.

    Because things like temperature and stress can change blood pressure, more than one reading in a single office visit allows the ability to correct for these variations. For example, your blood pressure is often higher at the beginning of an office visit than at the end. Taking a reading at both the beginning and the end gives a more accurate average reading.

    Your healthcare provider should be checking your blood pressure:

    • In both arms, not just one
    • At both the beginning and the end of your appointment

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    How Frequently Should You Take Your Blood Pressure

    If you are taking medication for hypertension, ask your prescriber about the optimal frequency for you. Do be sure to store the readings in the monitor or app and/ or write them down.

    Some individuals at risk for hypertension for example, pregnant women, or people with diabetes or obesity may want to check their blood pressure periodically as well.

    Usually, you check your blood pressure in the morning, before taking your high blood pressure medications. If you take more than one blood pressure medication, your doctor may want you to take your blood pressure more frequently during the day.

    Checking and keeping track of your blood pressure for several days or longer will help your doctor understand your average blood pressure, and decide which medication is working, or if you can stop taking a certain medication.

    Heres How To Take Blood Pressure Readings Step By Step Manually

    What You Need to Know About the New Blood Pressure Standards

    You must be wondering how can you check your blood pressure manually without using any equipment. Just in case if you can recall whenever you visit a doctors clinic he can check your blood pressure by putting a little pressure on your wrist with his fingers.

    However, this method does not give you an exact reading but it will give you an idea about your BP.

    Steps to take blood pressure step by step manually:

  • Feel your pulse using the index and middle finger of the other hand.
  • Once you feel the pulsating start noticing how many times the pulse goes up and down in 10 seconds.
  • Multiply the number by 6. This will give you the heart rate for one minute.
  • Note down the readings.
  • It is better to use a manual sphygmomanometer or visiting a doctor.
  • It is better if you go to a nearby clinic to check your blood pressure instead of taking just an idea from noting your pulse.

    Some Facts related to Blood Pressure:

    • The normal blood range is 120/80 for systolic and diastolic readings if you are not on any medications.
    • Getting different reading after different activities such as eating, exercising, and even your emotions is a normal thing.
    • One high BP reading does not mean you are having a blood pressure-related issue. It can be due to your recent activities as well.
    • Blood pressure can be controlled by taking proper medications regularly.
    • You should not take high or low blood pressure readings casually, consult a physician.

    Difference between Hypertension and Hypotension

    Hypertension:

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    Choosing A Home Blood Pressure Monitor

    The American Heart Association recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor.

    • Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they yield less reliable readings.
    • Choose a monitor that has been validated. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice or find options at validatebp.org.
    • When selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant woman or child, make sure it is validated for these conditions.
    • Make sure the cuff fits measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.

    The Best Time To Your Blood Pressure

    Take your blood pressure once in the morning and once in the evening. Then do two readings, at least a minute apart from each other, says Dr. Distel. If your reading seems too high or too low, wait a few minutes and then try again.

    Try getting in a routine, too, so you can notice any patterns or shifts in your results.

    And youll want to record your readings in a journal or notebook. Write down the date, time of day, systolic and diastolic numbers, heart rate and which arm you took the reading on. This will help you notice changes.

    Dr. Distel says you can also talk to your doctor about 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. This device allows your blood pressure to be measured over a 24-hour period, even while you sleep.

    It takes your blood pressure every three to five minutes, says Dr. Distel. If someone didnt want to have to constantly check their own blood pressure it could be an option.

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    Proper Technique For Blood Pressure Measurement

    Is your blood pressure being measured correctly? Accurate blood pressure measurements are essential for diagnosing and treating high blood pressure. A specific set of techniques and procedures have been developed for obtaining the most accurate blood pressure readings possible.

    But research has shown that medical professionals often do not completely follow these guidelines. It is important for you as a patient to be able to identify when proper protocol is being followed, or not.

    How To Use A Digital Upper Arm Blood Pressure Cuff

    How to measure your own blood pressure

    Using an upper arm digital blood pressure monitor is one of the easiest and most common ways to track your blood pressure at home. Avoid simple mistakes, once your monitor is set up and you are ready to take your first reading, remember to follow these steps in order to achieve the most accurate results.

  • Sit down in a chair next to a table with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Place the blood pressure cuff on your arm directly above the bend in your elbow.
  • Adjust the cuff so that the tubing is facing your inner arm and turned slightly towards your little finger.
  • Rest your arm on the table, upper arm should be heart level and with your palm facing upwards.
  • Rest for five minutes before taking your first blood pressure.
  • Once youre relaxed press start on your monitor to begin taking blood pressure.
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    Before You Measure Your Blood Pressure

    • Avoid things that can raise your blood pressure in the short term. Dont measure your blood pressure within half an hour of eating, smoking, drinking caffeinated drinks such as coffee, or exercising. These can all raise your blood pressure temporarily. If you need to use the toilet, go before you measure your blood pressure.
    • Wear loose-fitting clothes. Wear a short-sleeved t-shirt or something with sleeves you can push up easily, nothing tight. This is so that you can fit the cuff around your arm.
    • Rest for five minutes before you take your reading. Sit down somewhere quiet, ideally at a desk or table. Have your back supported with your arm resting on a firm surface and your feet flat on the floor. Stay in this position while you take your blood pressure.
    • Make sure your arm is supported and at the same level as your heart. Position yourself so that your arm is resting on a surface and is at the same height as your heart. Keep your arm and hand relaxed, not tensed.
    • Make sure you are relaxed and comfortable. If you are anxious or uncomfortable, your blood pressure will rise temporarily.

    Know The Possible Side Effects Of Your High Blood Pressure Drugs

    Each type of high blood pressure drug has possible side effects. Some side effects may be temporary some may be more lasting. Some side effects are bothersome some may be potentially dangerous. Ask your doctor or pharmacist these questions about each of your medications:

    • What side effects might occur? Which are common and which are rare?
    • What should I do if I notice side effects?
    • Are there medicines, food, or beverages that can interact with this drug?
    • What are serious side effects that I need to be aware of?

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    Mainehealth Hypertension Control Toolkit & Trainings

    1 Rakotz, Michael et al. “Medical students and measuring blood pressure: Results from the American Medical Association Blood Pressure Check Challenge.” Journal of Clinical Hypertension 19, no. 6. .

    2 Handler, Joel. “The Importance of Accurate Blood Pressure Measurement.”The Permanente Journal 13, no. 3. .

    Doctor Or Nurse Or Medical Assistant

    American Heart Assoc on Twitter: " An accurate blood pressure ...

    Who should be measuring the blood pressure after all, physician or nurse? In all of the hypertension treatment trials, blood pressure has been measured by trained nonphysicians, usually nurses. White-coat effect is common and persistent. In a classic study of nurse and physician blood pressures undertaken in patients with continuous intra-arterial blood pressure monitoring, two concurrent measurement phenomena were observed: observer effect and alerting reaction . After a few minutes, a repeat blood pressure measurement obtained by both a physician and a nurse produced results about 10/5 mm Hg lower than the first determination, owing to mitigation of the alerting reaction. Nonetheless, there was a difference of 10/5 mm Hg between the physician and the nurse with both the first and second determinations, demonstrating the persistence of the observer, or white-coat, effect. Patients are more afraid of physicians than of nurses. If an initial blood pressure reading obtained by an MA is elevated and a physician then obtains a follow-up reading, that second reading may be lower because the alerting reaction has subsided, or it may be higher because of doctor-related white-coat effect. Physicians taking blood pressure measurements should be knowledgeable regarding proper technique and the causes of artifacts.

    Demonstration of relative blood pressure alerting reactions and observer effects, comparing physician and nurse.

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