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
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How It Works: Diastolic
Thats the top reading. But Becker and others are also listening for something else.
As the blood starts to run off, it makes a tapping sound, a dull tapping sound and the blood disappears, says Ferdinand.
Some describe it as a swooshing sound that then fades out.
And when that sound disappears, thats the diastolic or the lower blood pressure, he says.
When everything goes silent again, when your heart is at rest in between beats, thats the diastolic pressure. Its the lower reading, or the 80, if your blood pressure is 120 over 80.
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What Else Do I Need To Know
- Do not take a BP reading in an arm that is injured or has an IV or shunt.
- Take your BP medicines as directed. Do not stop taking your medicines if your BP is at your goal. A BP at your goal means your medicine is working correctly.
- Bring the BP machine to your follow-up visit. Your healthcare provider can check that you are using it correctly.
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Common Blood Pressure Measurement Errors:
- Bladder cuff too narrow or wide
- Limb being assessed is unsupported
- Insufficient rest before the assessment
- Repeating the assessment too quickly
- Cuff not wrapped tightly and evenly
- Deflating the cuff to quickly
- Deflating the cuff too slowly
- Failure to use the same site for consistency
- Limb being assessed is measured while above their heart level.
- Berman, A et al. 2015, Kozier and Erbs fundamentals of nursing. Pearson Australia Melbourne, Victoria.
- Estes, MEZ., Calleja, P., Theobald, K. & Harvey, T. 2013, Health assessment and physical examination: Australian & New Zealand ed. Cengage Learning Australia South Melbourne, Victoria.
- Tollefson, J. & Hillman, E. 2018. Clinical Psychomotor Skills. 7th ed. Cengage Learning Australia South Melbourne, Victoria.
- Wake, D. 2017, How to Take Blood Pressure, Ausmed.
Stride Bp A New International Expert Organisation Will Help You Chose The Right Home Blood Pressure Monitor For You
High blood pressure or hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Left untreated it can cause you to have a heart attack or debilitating stroke, it can also increase your risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimers disease in later life.
Therefore, it is vital that if you suffer from high blood pressure and are thinking of purchasing a BP monitor to measure your blood pressure at home, that you select the right device.
With so many different devices available it can be confusing to know which is the best home BP monitor for you. The good news is that an international non-profit organization STRIDE-BPhas been recently established with the mission to improve the accuracy of BP measurement and the diagnosis of high blood pressure.
Please remember that your home monitor will need to be re-calibrated every one to two years, please check the manufacturer guidelines for information on this.
High blood pressure or hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke
A healthy blood pressure
Two numbers are used to measure the level of your blood pressure. One number records blood pressure when the pressure is at its highest i.e. as the heart muscle squeezes the blood out of your heart this is called systolic pressure.
How to measure your blood pressure at home
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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.
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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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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The scary thing is that high blood pressure usually doesnt come with any symptoms. Its so symptomless, in fact, that its nicknamed the silent killer. Anyone at risk for high blood pressure should stay keenly aware of their blood pressure levels. Even if youre generally healthy and dont have a family history of hypertension, its still worth checking your blood pressure every so often.
Since you probably wont trek to the doctors office every day, week or month to get checked, heres a handy guide to monitoring your blood pressure at home.
The Quardio Arm wireless blood pressure monitor
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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.
Why Do I Need To Take Bp Readings
You may not have any signs or symptoms of high BP. You may need to take BP readings 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 readings. Your healthcare provider can use the results to see if your BP medicines are working.
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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.
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.
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How Is Blood Pressure Measured
It’s important to measure blood pressure more than once because it fluctuates over the course of the day. It can also change due to things like physical exertion, stress, pain, or extreme heat or cold. But this kind of increase in blood pressure is only temporary and it soon returns to normal.
So, if blood pressure is measured just once and found to be high, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s always too high. A blood pressure reading taken at the doctors office can also be misleading: Going to the doctor makes some people so nervous that their blood pressure goes up.
So to get reliable readings, blood pressure is measured on several different days and while you are resting. This means sitting down and relaxing on a chair, and waiting about three minutes before taking a measurement so that your circulatory system comes to rest. The upper arm that is being used for the measurement should rest on a table, at about the same height as the heart, while the reading is being done.
You can measure your blood pressure on your own using a digital blood pressure monitor for automated readings or an instrument called a sphygmomanometer for manual readings.
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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 To Take Your Blood Pressure At Home
Tips for using a blood pressure cuff or wireless blood pressure monitor for accurate readings.
Every time your heart beats, it pumps blood through your circulatory system, putting pressure on your blood vessels — the veins, arteries and capillaries. This is known as your blood pressure and without it, your bones, muscles, organs and other tissues wouldn’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need. Your body’s various systems, like the immune and digestive systems, also wouldn’t function without blood pressure.
But there can always be too much of a good thing, right? High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the force against your blood vessel walls becomes too high, which can kick your heart into overdrive and lead to serious health problems like heart attack and stroke.
The scary thing is that high blood pressure usually doesn’t come with any symptoms. It’s so symptomless, in fact, that it’s nicknamed the “silent killer.” Anyone at risk for high blood pressure should stay keenly aware of their blood pressure levels. Even if you’re generally healthy and don’t have a family history of hypertension, it’s still worth checking your blood pressure every so often.
Since you probably won’t trek to the doctor’s office every day, week or month to get checked, here’s a handy guide to monitoring your blood pressure at home.
The Quardio Arm wireless blood pressure monitor
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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.
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|
|and||120 or higher|
If youve 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 providers 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.
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How To Take Blood Pressure Manually
This article was co-authored by Michael Corsilles, ND. Dr. Corsilles is a Naturopath and a Physician Assistant in Washington. He completed his Naturopathic medical training at Bastyr University in 2003, and received his Physician Assistant certification from the University of Washington in 2010.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 15 testimonials and 81% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 622,667 times.
If you or someone you know is at risk for high or low blood pressure, you may want to invest in a manual blood pressure kit for home use. Learning how to take your blood pressure manually may take a little practice, but it is actually quite easy once you learn how. You’ll need to know what to wear, when to take your blood pressure, how to take it accurately, and how to interpret the results. With a little practice you’ll know how to find your systolic and diastolic pressure readings and what those numbers actually mean.