Manual Blood Pressure Readings
Blood can only be heard through a stethoscope if it is turbulent. As the cuff is inflated, the artery is compressed, making the blood flow through the artery turbulent. When the artery is completely closed, there is no blood flow and no sound. As pressure in the cuff is reduced, the point at which the artery is open just enough to let the blood pass, is the systolic blood pressure.
This is detected by turbulent blood flow heard through the stethoscope. As pressure in the cuff is further reduced, the vessel will once again be completely open and non-turbulent. At this point, no more sound is heard and diastolic blood pressure has been reached.
How Often Should You Measure Your Blood Pressure
When and how often you take your readings will depend on your blood pressure. Speak to your doctor or nurse about whats suitable for you.
It can be useful to monitor your blood pressure closely to begin with, then less often but at regular intervals.
When you first start using your home monitor
When you first start using a home monitor, measure your blood pressure in the morning and evening, every day for a week.
Take three readings in the morning, one to two minutes apart, and the same again in the evening, and record all the readings. Take an average of the readings, but discard the first one if its much higher than the others. To take an average simply add the two readings together and divide by two. Divide by three if you use all three readings.
Ignore the first days readings altogether, because they might not be accurate as youre not familiar with your monitor yet.
At the end of the week you will have a useful picture of what your blood pressure is normally like.
Your doctor might ask you to keep a record like this when they first think you might have high blood pressure and would like to know more before making a .
After the first week
Once you have a record of your blood pressure over a week, you can take readings less often once every one to two weeks perhaps. Your doctor or nurse can talk to you about this, theres no need to measure it too often.
How Are Blood Pressure Levels Categorized
There are four blood pressure categories:
- Normal blood pressure: Systolic below 120 and diastolic below 80 mm Hg
- Prehypertension: Systolic between 120-139 and diastolic between 80-89 mm Hg
- Stage I hypertension: Systolic between 140-159 and diastolic between 90-99 mm Hg
- Stage II hypertension: Systolic above 160 and diastolic above 100 mm Hg
Monitoring your blood pressure levels can help you prevent or delay the onset of high blood pressure and related health problems. If you notice that your blood pressure readings are getting higher, talk to your doctor. They can help you set goals and recommend lifestyle changes that can help you get the numbers back down and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
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If You Get A High Blood Pressure Reading
- A single high reading is not an immediate cause for alarm. If you get a reading that is slightly or moderately higher than normal, take your blood pressure a few more times and consult your healthcare professional to verify if there s a health concern or whether there may be any issues with your monitor.
- If your blood pressure readings suddenly exceed 180/120 mm Hg, wait five minutes and test again. If your readings are still unusually high, contact your doctor immediately. You could be experiencing a hypertensive crisis.
- If your blood pressure is higher than 180/120 mm Hg and you are experiencing signs of possible organ damage such as chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, change in vision, difficulty speaking, do not wait to see if your pressure comes down on its own. Call 911.
Know Who You Can Trust
Most drug manufacturers are in the business of making money.
They are not too concerned about the side effects or whether you really need these drugs at all.
99% of all medications are now being made outside this country, and the FDA cannot and does not inspect every batch of medication imported into the United Statesin spite of its claims to closely monitor imported goods.
So, my friends, be careful. Take responsibility for your own healthcare and wellbeing by being an informed consumer, and enjoy your life.
Live each day as if it is your last one.
Have a sense of humorhumor can be found in any situation. Laughter is the best medicine for stress and anxiety. Stress is lessened when you do not keep things bottled up inside yourself. Remember to always speak your mind: those that matter don’t mind, and those that do minddon’t matter.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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After Your Measurement Wait One Week Before Proceeding
Remember that it is ultimately your decision whether or not to take medication. Unless you have obvious symptoms of high blood pressure , you should let your doctor know that you want to wait a week before deciding. This is so that you can confirm that the reading is representative of your actual blood pressure and not altered due to being nervous or anxious.
If you don’t own the necessary equipment to take your own measurements, you can borrow them from a friend or buy them from a local pharmacy. Some pharmacies also have machines available for public use.
Take your blood pressure at least once a day, at the same time each day, and on the same arm. It may not be practical, but ideally, you would measure twice a dayonce in the morning and once in the afternoon. This will give you a better sense of what your average or typical blood pressure from day to day.
This reading is on the lower end of the normal range and on the verge of hypotension .
Know Your Numbers: How To Properly Take Your Blood Pressure
The new blood pressure guidelines from the American Heart Association mean that 46%almost halfof all American adults have high blood pressure. But how do you know if you are among them? The obvious answer is to take your blood pressure. But, you have to make sure you are doing it the right way. There are several factors that could give you a bad reading, said John Ryan, MD, a cardiologist with University of Utah Health. You also shouldnt take a single reading and rely on those numbers.
Thats right your blood pressure can fluctuate so its important to take more than one reading to get an accurate picture. The AHA recommends that a person take two to three blood pressure readings a minute apart and then average the numbers to get an accurate reading. Also, you should track your blood pressure over a series of daysat the same time each dayto get a clearer picture. This is especially necessary if you already know you have high blood pressure, said Ryan. This way you can see if the interventions you are making are working to bring your blood pressure into a healthy range.
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Youre Using The Wrong
The most common error when using indirect blood pressure measuring equipment is using an incorrectly sized cuff. A BP cuff that is too large will give falsely low readings, while an overly small cuff will provide readings that are falsely high.
The American Heart Association publishes guidelines for blood pressure measurement . recommending that the bladder length and width should be 80 percent and 40 percent respectively, of arm circumference. Most practitioners find measuring bladder and arm circumference to be overly time consuming, so they dont do it.
The most practical way to quickly and properly size a BP cuff is to pick a cuff that covers two-thirds of the distance between your patients elbow and shoulder. Carrying at least three cuff sizes will fit the majority of the adult population. Multiple smaller sizes are needed if you frequently treat pediatric patients.
Korotkoff sounds are the noises heard through a stethoscope during cuff deflation. They occur in 5 phases:
- I first detectable sounds, corresponding to appearance of a palpable pulse
- II sounds become softer, longer and may occasionally transiently disappear
- III change in sounds to a thumping quality
- IV pitch intensity changes and sounds become muffled
- V sounds disappear
What Equipment Do I Need To Measure My Blood Pressure At Home
To measure your blood pressure at home, you can use either an aneroid monitor or digital monitor. Choose the type of monitor that best meets your needs. Look at the following features when you select a monitor.
- Size: The right cuff size is very important. The cuff size you need is based on the size of your arm. You can ask the doctor, nurse, orpharmacist to help you. Blood pressure readings can be wrong if your cuff is the wrong size.
- Price: Cost may be a key factor. Home blood pressure units vary in price. You may want to shop around to find the best deal. Keep in mind that pricey units may not be the best or most accurate.
- Display: The numbers on the monitor should be easy for you to read.
- Sound: You must be able to hear your heartbeat through the stethoscope.
Tests show that finger and wrist devices do not always provide correct measurements. These devices are sensitive to placement and body temperature. They also are expensive and can cost more than $100.
The aneroid monitor manually checks your blood pressure. It has a gauge that you read by looking at a pointer on the dial. The cuff goes around your upper arm and you squeeze a rubber bulb to inflate it by hand.
Inflation of the cuff is either automatic or manual, depending on the model. Deflation is automatic. Digital monitors are good for hearing-impaired patients, since there is no need to listen to your heartbeat through the stethoscope.
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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?
How To Take Blood Pressure Properly
According to the self measurement of blood pressure method it is recommended that you measure it three times a day for 3 days before the visit to your doctor to assess the evolution: Right upon waking up before breakfast and taking medication, before lunch, before dinner. In this article we will teach you which the right steps to take the blood pressure with greater reliability are. The most important element to take blood pressure is a sphygmomanometer. In this OneHowTo article, we show you exactly how to take blood pressure.
Take it on the left or right arm and . Unless your doctor or nurse specifically tells you to take one or the other.
The first blood pressure measurement must be the first thing in the morning upon waking. This measurment is important because you are completely at rest. Thus, none of the pressure is due to exercise or daily activities.
Blood pressure should always be measured before taking any medication, we must choose a suitable place for taking blood pressure. It should be quiet with a table that allows us to put everything you need and clearly see the screen of your device.
Obese people need to buy a larger cuff. Once well positioned begin to measure blood pressure, activating our meter.
This process must be repeated 3 times leaving a rest period of about 2 minutes. When we have three blood pressure results, you have a good idea of what your blood pressure reading is.
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Remember To Refill Your Prescriptions
High blood pressure drugs need to be taken on schedule. So don’t let your supply run out! This can be tricky, especially if you use multiple drugs and different pharmacies. See if any of these suggestions might help:
- Find out exactly how soon you can reorder your prescription. Usually it’s about a week before your current supply runs out. Insurance companies have different rules for how early you can request a refill before the current supply runs out.
- Try to use only one pharmacy. It will be easier to talk to a pharmacist about possible drug interactions among prescription and nonprescription drugs and supplements and make sure you are not taking duplicate medicines.
- Use a friend or family member to help you find your way through the insurance, mail order, or other groups you must deal with in order to get your refills.
- If you’re planning to travel, have all of your medication ready to go with you. Keep it with you, rather than in your checked baggage when flying.
What You Must Know Before Starting Any Medications
Before you start taking any medications for hypertension, or high blood pressure, make sure that whoever is measuring your blood pressure does it accurately.
Let’s start with your doctor’s office visit.
Everyone gets nervous, anxious, tense, and apprehensive when they visit their doctor for any exam, procedure, or routine checkup. These emotions will automatically make your resting blood pressure higher than it normally is. It is important to remain calm while also being aware of what’s going on around you.
The following are things you should keep an eye on while your blood pressure is being measured.
The cuff should never be placed over clothing. Doing so can give a false reading.
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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.
Tips To Make Sure Your At
Tips to keep in mind while measuring your resting blood pressure at home include the following:
Morning and evening are good times to measure your blood pressure. Remember, blood pressure varies throughout the day, and readings are often a little higher in the morning. Also, your blood pressure may be slightly lower at home than in a medical office, with the difference typically being around 5 points.
Dont be alarmed if you get an unexpectedly high reading. One high reading is usually nothing to worry about. Measure your blood pressure again at another time. If your blood pressure is consistently high or abnormal, discuss it with your doctor.
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Why Do I Need To Take My Bp
You may not have any signs or symptoms of high BP. You may need to take your BP regularly to know how often your BP is high. High BP increases your risk for a stroke, heart attack, or kidney disease. You may need to take medicine to keep your BP at a normal level. Write down and keep a log of your BP. Your healthcare provider can use the BP results in your log to see if your BP medicines are working.
Blood Pressure Results And Documentation
BP is recorded as a fraction, with the top number representing the systole and the bottom number representing the diastole. If first and second diastolic are recorded, the first diastolic is written over the second i.e. 120/90/80.
Documentation post the assessment is essential and should include the location the BP was taken and any factors that may have impacted the result. Further, it is important that health professionals note that drastic changes in BP can be a sign of clinical deterioration.
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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. Don’t go overboard and take your blood pressure constantly. That’s counterproductive. “You 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,” says Dr. Zusman.