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HomeTrendingHow To Check Your Blood Pressure By Hand

How To Check Your Blood Pressure By Hand

Not Using The Cuff Correctly

Blood Pressure Measurement: How to Check Blood Pressure Manually

Make sure you are wrapping the cuff around your arm in the correct position. After wrapping the cuff around your arm, check the location of the brachial artery marker. The air tube should run down the center of your arm. The cuff should not be wrapped too tight or too loose. Look at the instruction manual for the monitor to get more detailed instructions on the specific cuff included with your unit.

Understanding Your Blood Pressure Reading

Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury and is given as 2 numbers:

  • systolic pressure the pressure when your heart pushes blood out
  • diastolic pressure the pressure when your heart rests between beats

The highest number is always the systolic pressure and it’s always given first. For example, a blood pressure given as “120 over 80” or 120/80mmHg means a systolic pressure of 120mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 80mmHg.

As a general guide:

  • normal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
  • high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher
  • low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60mmHg or lower

If your reading is between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg, you may be at risk of developing high blood pressure. There are things you can do to help prevent high blood pressure.

What Are Some Common Reasons Why My Blood Pressure Readings Seem Higher Than Expected

There are many reasons why blood pressure readings may seem high. Below are some of the common reasons and the estimated ranges of how much readings can vary. It is important to ensure you are using the monitor as it was intended, so please make sure you are following the directions in the instruction manual, or call our consumer support line at if you have questions. It is also important to note that if you can continue to see high readings, discuss with your doctor or a medical professional it is possible that your blood pressure is actually higher than what you believe it to be.

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Stethoscope Usage And Korotkoff Sounds

The stethoscope is used on bare skin so that a clients clothing does not affect the sounds. The stethoscope does not make sounds louder it simply blocks out extraneous noises so you can better hear the Korotkoff sounds. These sounds are heard through a stethoscope applied over the brachial artery when the blood pressure cuff is deflating. You will not hear anything when you first place the stethoscope over the brachial artery, because unobstructed blood flow is silent. The Korotkoff sounds appear after you inflate the cuff and then begin to deflate the cuff. The Korotkoff sounds are the result of the turbulent blood caused by the inflated cuff compressing the artery and oscillations of the arterial wall when the heart beats during cuff deflation.

Here are a few tips:

  • Use a high quality stethoscope with durable, thick tubing. Avoid stethoscopes with long tubing because this can distort sounds.
  • Ensure quiet surroundings so that you can better hear the Korotkoff sounds.
  • Make sure that the slope of the stethoscope earpieces point forward or toward your nose.
  • Use a stethoscope that has both bell and diaphragm capacity. See Figure 5.4 for bell and diaphragm.

Figure 5.4: Stethoscope with bell and diaphragm

Film clip 5.2: Opening and closing the bell and diaphragm

Alternatively, if viewing textbook as a pdf, use this link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/rp_4h-tCmvs?rel=0

How To Interpret The Blood Pressure Reading

Blood pressure monitor. Close up of female hand hold blood pressure ...

Here are the blood pressure guidelines published by the American College of Cardiology, last updated in 2017 :

  • A normal blood pressure is a systolic pressure of less than 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure of less than 80 mmHg.
  • An elevated blood pressure occurs when the systolic pressure is between 120-129 mmHg, and the diastolic pressure is less than 80 mmHg.
  • Hypertension Stage 1 occurs when the systolic pressure is between 130-139 mmHg, or the diastolic pressure is between 80-89 mmHg.
  • Hypertension Stage 2 occurs when the systolic pressure is greater or equal to 140, or the diastolic pressure is greater or equal to 90 mmHg.

For a patient to be diagnosed as having hypertension, they need an average reading based on 2 readings or more that are obtained on 2 or more occasions .

References:

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How Do You Check Your Blood Pressure With Your Fingers

  • How Do You Check Your Blood Pressure With Your Fingers? Center
  • Most doctors recommend the use of a blood pressure machine to check blood pressure. An individual may check heart rate with their fingers, but not blood pressure. Data shows checking blood pressure using fingers may not be accurate though there is an obscure method to correlate the pulse reading with systolic blood pressure. Blood pressure must be always measured using validated equipment.

    Place the fingers on the inside of the wrist to locate the pulse. Now, take two fingers and place them just below the wrist creases on the thumb side of the hand. A strong pulse felt at the wrist correlates to the systolic blood pressure of at least 80 mmHg. This method is not always correct and hence not recommended.

    It is important to use the correct technique to obtain an accurate measurement. Blood pressure is the force the blood exerts on the sides of the blood vessels as it moves ahead and is an important indicator of health. The pulse will give the basic information required to estimate the systolic blood pressure . Keep in mind this is a very rough estimate and only indicates if the systolic blood pressure is not low. Blood pressure monitoring should be done with a cuff and a stethoscope. However, recent advances in technology have made budget-friendly automatic blood pressure monitors easily available in pharmacies.

    Blood Pressure Monitoring At Home

    Many people monitor their blood pressure at home. They often do this to manage or treat a certain health condition. If you monitor your blood pressure at home, keep a record, or log, of the measurements. The record shows your doctor how your blood pressure changes throughout the day. If you take medicines to control your blood pressure, it will help document if they are working. Measuring your blood pressure at home is a good way to take part in managing your health.

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    How Can I Check My Blood Pressure At Home

    Checking your blood pressure at home is easier than youd expect. You first need to buy the right equipment. Talk to your doctor about the best home monitors to buy to check your blood pressure. You want to make sure you get the right size cuff. Once you have your device, heres how to get started:

    • Avoid tobacco, alcohol, exercise, and caffeine a half hour before you take a reading.
    • Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable chair. Rest for at least five minutes.
    • Follow your monitors instruction booklet to position the cuff properly and inflate it. For manual monitors, this means squeezing the bulb. For automatic ones, its simply a press of a button.
    • Check the readings. Write down the top number and the bottom number .
    • Finally, establish a routine for checking your blood pressure at home. This enables you to notice trends in your numbers, which is helpful.

    Feel free to share your blood pressure records with your doctor, especially if youre at a higher risk for developing heart disease.

    Keep A Blood Pressure Diary

    How To Take Blood Pressure Correctly

    Keep a blood pressure diary. Your records may help explain changes in your blood pressure readings and help your doctor make sure you get the right treatment.

    Everyone’s blood pressure changes from day to day and even from minute to minute sometimes. Blood pressure tends to be higher in the morning and lower at night. Stress, smoking, eating, exercise, cold, pain, noise, medicines, and even talking can affect it.

    Record your blood pressure numbers with the date and time. You might use a home blood pressure log or a spreadsheet on your computer. Your monitor might have a feature that will record your numbers for you. Some monitors can transfer this information to your computer.

    Also record your daily activities, such as the time you take medicine or if you feel upset or feel stressed.

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    Preparing To Check Your Blood Pressure

  • 1Verify that you have the right cuff size.XResearch source A standard size blood pressure cuff purchased from a drugstore will fit around the arm of most adults. However, if you have an especially narrow or wide arm, or if you plan to take the blood pressure of a child, you may need a different size.
  • Check the size of a cuff before buying it. Look at the “index” line. This is the range line on the cuff that tells you if it fits.XResearch source Once it is on the patient’s arm it will tell you whether or not the circumference of your arm fits within the “range” area of the cuff.
  • If you do not use the proper cuff size, you may end up with an inaccurate measurement.
  • 2Avoid factors that can increase blood pressure. Certain conditions can cause blood pressure to spike temporarily. In order to get an accurate measurement, you or your patient should avoid these conditions before taking your blood pressure.
  • Factors that can affect blood pressure include: stress, smoking, exercise, cold temperatures, a full stomach, a full bladder, caffeine, and some medications. XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Heart AssociationLeading nonprofit that funds medical research and public educationGo to source
  • Blood pressure can change throughout the course of the day. If you need to check the patient’s blood pressure regularly, try to do so at the same approximate time each day.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Heart AssociationLeading nonprofit that funds medical research and public educationGo to source
  • Tips For Getting An Accurate Blood Pressure Reading

    To accurately monitor your blood pressure over time, you shouldn’t just plop down in a chair whenever to do a reading. Instead, you should implement some simple practices that help ensure accuracy.

    1. Take your blood pressure at the same time of day for every new recording.

    2. Avoid caffeine and alcohol at least 30 minutes prior to your reading.

    3. Avoid exercise within 30 minutes of taking your blood pressure.

    4. Sit up straight and be still throughout the measurement.

    5. Take multiple measurements and record all of the results with the date and time.

    6. Don’t wear the blood pressure cuff over clothes.

    Your blood pressure should be easy to read on a digital monitor, like this one.

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    What To Do If Blood Pressure Is Low

    Low blood pressure generally indicates some severe dysfunction going on inside the body. Management of hypotension primarily aims at correction of the causative factor. Some ways to manage low blood pressure are:

  • Oral rehydration solution in case of dehydration
  • Blood and blood components may have to be replaced in case of excessive blood loss as in trauma or surgeries.
  • Increase intake of salt
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and aerated drinks
  • Raisins are known to treat hypotension naturally
  • Almond with milk is a traditional home remedy to manage hypotension
  • Vitamin C like oranges, amla and other citric fruits provide natural anti-oxidants
  • S On How To Take A Blood Pressure Manually

    Measure blood pressure. Close up of woman hand check heart rate with ...

    Here are the steps to take a manual blood pressure. Note: Before taking a patients blood pressure, always verify the specific steps required by your healthcare facility or nursing school, as guidelines or protocols may change over time.

    1. Perform hand hygiene and gather your supplies.

    • Supplies needed: stethoscope, sphygmomanometer , cleaning supplies, towels or pillow for support
    • Tip: always use an appropriately sized blood pressure cuff

    2. Have the patient sitting or lying down with their back supported. Their arm should be positioned at heart level. If necessary, use towels or a pillow to support the arm, and make sure the palms are facing up . Be sure the legs are also uncrossed. For best results, the patient should urinate before the procedure, avoid eating or drinking anything for 30 minutes before the measurement is taken, and should remain quiet .

    • Find the brachial artery near the proximal portion of the elbows bend :
    • This is the most common site for checking the blood pressure and is a major artery in the upper arm that divides into the radial and ulnar artery.
    • To find this artery, extend the elbow joint and have the palm facing upward. The pulse point is found near the top of the cubital fossa, which is a triangular area that is in front of the elbow.

    5. Place your stethoscope in your ears, palpate the brachial artery again, and place the bell of the stethoscope lightly on the brachial pulse site .

    11. Remove the cuff from the patients arm.

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    What Is The Warranty For The Cuff On My Blood Pressure Monitor

    For most models, the warranty coverage for the arm or wrist cuff is one year. Cuffs will need to be periodically replaced throughout the life of the monitor. When purchasing a replacement cuff for an upper arm unit, please be certain to measure the circumference of your arm to purchase the correct cuff size. Please check the instruction manual for your specific unit. Electronic versions of the instruction manuals can be found in the Omron Product Support & Solutions Center.

    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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    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.

    What Is A Blood Pressure Measurement

    How to: Measure Blood Pressure

    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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    How To Use A Blood Pressure Cuff At Home

    You could always inflate a manual sphygmomanometer with a hand pump and count Korotkoff sounds in your head, but why would you when wireless, digital blood pressure monitors are so readily available these days? They don’t have to be expensive, either: Some models sell for less than $30 a unit.

    Plus, you’re way more likely to get an accurate blood pressure reading if you use a digital cuff — there’s less room for error. To take your blood pressure at home with a digital blood pressure monitor, all you have to do is:

    1. Slide the blood pressure cuff onto your upper arm and secure it so that it sits snugly about one inch above the crease of your elbow.

    2. If you have an automatic model, simply push the button that inflates the cuff. If you have a manual model, use the hand pump to inflate the cuff.

    3. After the cuff fully inflates, air will automatically start flowing back out.

    4. Look at the screen to get your blood pressure reading.

    5. If you need to repeat the measurement, wait a few minutes before attempting a new reading.

    At-home, digital blood pressure monitors can be worn on the wrist or upper arm, depending on what model you choose.

    What Can I Do To Help Better Manage My Blood Pressure

    Managing your blood pressure doesnt have to take a lot of work. In fact, small improvements to your lifestyle can help.

    • Exercise: Just be a little more active. Walk instead of drive take the stairs instead of the elevator, etc.
    • Eat Smart: Try to find low-fat, low-sodium substituted that also taste great. Potassium found in bananas and carrots is natures best medicine for your heart.
    • Kick the Habits: Minimize your alcohol and cigarette intake.
    • Stifle Your Stress: Stress is a normal part of life. But too much can increase the risk of heart disease. Relax by doing things you enjoy and your heart can benefit.
    • Monitor Your Blood Pressure at Home: Monitoring your blood pressure at home on a regular basis provides you and your doctor with the information to best manage your blood pressure.

    These are just some examples. Discuss with your doctor on other ways how you can better your heart.

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