Testing Your Blood Pressure At Home
Your GP may suggest 24-hour or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring if they think you may have high blood pressure .
ABPM tests your blood pressure regularly over 24 hours, by using a cuff attached to a portable device that’s worn on your waist.
You can continue with your daily activities during this time.
If you want to regularly check your blood pressure at home, you can buy a machine.
Ways To Manage Your Blood Pressure
If your blood pressure is rising gradually but not classified as hypertension yet, making lifestyle changes can help prevent this condition and protect your heart health.
If you already have high blood pressure, you should see a healthcare provider. Your doctor will likely prescribe you medication to lower your blood pressure immediately, then create a plan to help you achieve more long-term improvements. Treatment plans for high blood pressure usually focus on improving your overall health. These plans should include efforts like:
- Weight loss
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing alcohol
These changes wonât lower your blood pressure immediately the way medications will, but over time, your doctor may be able to reduce or even stop medications if you can successfully lower your blood pressure with lifestyle changes.
Turn Off All The Crap In The Back Of The Rig
Being spec’ed for use in Louisiana summers, our rigs are equipped with air conditioners that keep the module a comfy 72 degrees or at least that’s the rumor. But however well they cool or don’t cool, hearing anything over them is like straining to hear the whispered words of a lover over an F5 tornado. Except in the case of blood pressures, you can’t lip read, smile and nod.
If you’re one of those EMTs whose ears threaten to betray you when you need them most, try some of these BP tricks. Hopefully, they’ll take some of the pressure off of getting a pressure.
Request product info from top EMS Medical Equipment companies
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Automated Blood Pressure Machines
The easiest and most accurate way to measure the blood pressure at home is to buy an automated blood pressure monitor with an upper arm cuff.
The instructions for use may vary with each machine, and a person should follow them carefully to ensure proper operation. If the instructions are difficult to understand, a local pharmacy or doctors office will be able to show a person how to operate the machine correctly.
Doctors may ask a person to bring their at-home machine to the office during their next visit to test the accuracy compared to the doctors reading.
Using a high-quality machine is important, as inaccurate readings may cause unnecessary or harmful changes in medications or treatments.
A variety of blood pressure monitors are available for purchase online and in most drug stores. A person may wish to speak to a doctor about which brand they recommend.
There are apps and wrist devices that claim to measure the blood pressure, but these results are frequently inaccurate and are not a reliable way to monitor a persons health.
Apps that log blood pressure results may be helpful for people who need to take regular blood pressure tests, however.
Recording a set of readings into these apps may help doctors identify trends in blood pressure and recommend treatments.
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 pdf icon with you on your first blood pressure visit to record important blood pressure-related information.
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Can A Hot Shower Lower Your Blood Pressure
Lowers blood pressure. Studies have shown that soaking in a hot bath can lower your blood pressure. This is a great system for those with heart conditions and even those who dont. But first, consult your doctor if you do have a heart condition because a hot bath will also raise the rate of your heartbeat.
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S On How To Take A Blood Pressure Manually
1. Perform hand hygiene and gather supplies
- Supplies needed: stethoscope and blood pressure cuff with a sphygmomanometer
- Tip: always use the right size cuff
2. Have the patient sitting or lying down with the arm at heart level. Turn the arm outward with the palm up. Be sure the legs are uncrossed.
- Find the brachial artery:
- 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 arm 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.
3. Place and secure the blood pressure cuff on the patients upper arm. Place it about 2 inches above the elbow. In addition, make sure the arrow on the blood pressure cuff is lined up with the brachial artery. Dont place the blood pressure cuff over clothes or the gown.
4. First, we will estimate the systolic pressure by palpating the brachial artery and inflating the cuff to the point where the pulse disappears. Note that number on the gauge when you no longer feel the brachial artery. Then deflate the cuff and wait 30 to 60 seconds.
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 .
7. Deflate the cuff slowly with the valve .
10. Open the valve completely and let the air leave.
11. Remove the cuff.
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Garlic Supplements For High Blood Pressure
You can use garlic as a natural medicine to treat hypertension and improve your cardiovascular health.
Regularly taking garlic as a supplement can help to turn prehypertensive conditions into safe conditions. For example, a meta-analysis of 20 trials found that garlic supplementation can lower systolic blood pressure by 9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 7 mmHg.
Other studies have found that taking garlic supplements on a long-term basis could have a significant effect on blood pressure. Over a 12-week period taking 2 aged garlic capsules daily helped lower systolic blood pressure by around 12 mmHg.
What Affects A Blood Pressure Reading
Many things can affect a blood pressure reading, including:
- Nervousness about having your blood pressure taken. This is called white coat syndrome. As many as 1 in 3 people who have a high blood pressure reading at the doctors office may have normal blood pressure readings outside of it.1
- What you ate, drank, or did before your reading. If you smoked, drank alcohol or caffeine, or exercised within 30 minutes of having your blood pressure measured, your reading might be higher.2
- How you are sitting. Crossing your legs and letting your arm droop at your side rather than rest on a table at chest height can make your blood pressure go up.2
Its important to get an accurate blood pressure reading so that you have a clearer picture of your risk for heart disease and stroke.
A reading that says your blood pressure is lower than it actually is may give you a false sense of security about your health. A reading that says your blood pressure is higher than it actually is may lead to treatment you dont need.
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Blood Pressure Assessment In The Hypovolemic Shock Patient
My reply is usually to cup my hand behind one ear and shout, “What?”
Much to my chagrin, few of them take the hint, but honestly, I’d rather deal with those kids than the ones who take a pressure, drape the scope around their neck, and confidently announce, “120/80”
for every patient.
Old, young, fat, thin, pink or pale, everybody has a suspiciously normal blood pressure that always ends with a zero. Just as bad are those who hesitantly stammer, “Uhhhh 135/79?”
My ears may suck, but my eyes are still pretty good, and try as I might, I’ve yet to be able to find those odd-numbered markings on a sphygmomanometer gauge. Thus, I’m forced to conclude that my rookie either has preternaturally sharp hearing and eyesight, or he’s pulling those numbers out of his rectum. Judging from the uncertainty in their tone, I usually go with the latter.
Being a guy with a measurable hearing deficit in both ears too much shooting as a kid without adequate ear protection I’ve learned a few tricks over the years to allow me to hear what I need to hear in the back of the rig. Sometimes, when the sounds I’m listening for are in the high frequency range where most of my hearing loss is, I have to resort to things like assessing tactile fremitus, or rely on the ears of a trusted partner.
How Do You Check Your Blood Pressure With Your Fingers
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.
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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
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.
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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.
Measuring Your Blood Pressure
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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.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Why do I need to monitor my blood pressure at home?
- How often do I need to measure my blood pressure?
- What type of monitor should I use?
- What do my blood pressure readings mean?
- What is considered a normal blood pressure for me?
- What should I do if my readings are abnormal?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to help manage my blood pressure?
- Do I need to take medicine to manage my blood pressure?
- What other things can affect a blood pressure reading?
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Having overweight or obesity increases strain on the heart muscle and can lead to a rise in blood pressure.
. If a persons BMI is too high, they should take steps to reduce their weight.
According to the , a loss of just 10 pounds in weight is enough to reduce blood pressure readings in people who have overweight.
You Can Fight High Blood Pressure
While heart disease is still the No. 1 killer in the United States and around the world, death rates have decreased significantly. Earlier and better treatment of high blood pressure has played a key role in that decrease.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure And When Is Blood Pressure Considered To Be High
Blood pressure is always measured on a number of different days and when you are at rest. If several of these measurements are too high, you are said to have high blood pressure, even if only one of the two either the systolic or the diastolic one is high. The medical term for high blood pressure is hypertension. In adults, blood pressure is considered to be normal under a systolic value of 140 mmHg and under a diastolic value of 90 mmHg.
When taking your blood pressure for the first time, it makes sense to measure the blood pressure in both arms, because it’s sometimes high on only one side. The values that are higher are always the ones used for assessing blood pressure. After that it is enough to measure the blood pressure only in the arm that produced the higher reading. A person is considered to have high blood pressure if the systolic value is over 140 mmHg, the diastolic value is over 90 mmHg, or if both are higher than these readings.
Table: Normal and high blood pressure readings
|systolic over 140 mmHg and/or diastolic over 90 mmHg|