Blood Pressure Measurement
Blood pressure measurement is the main and very important method of diagnosing arterial hypertension. In addition, everyone who suffers from hypertension should be able to correctly measure blood PRESSURE. Skills of self-measurement of pressure will help you together with your doctor to control the course of the disease, to correct the treatment in time, to take medicines in case of a sudden increase in blood PRESSURE.
What devices are recommended for measuring blood pressure?
To measure blood PRESSURE at home use two types of devices:
- Sphygmomanometers (aneroid sphygmomanometers);
- Electronic meters (automatic and semi-automatic).
Tonometers are the most widely used. They are safe, portable enough, relatively inexpensive. However, with prolonged use, the measurement accuracy may be reduced, so these instruments should be checked periodically.
Electronic blood PRESSURE meters are specially designed for self-use at home. They are more convenient, portable, but their accuracy is often low. Electronic blood PRESSURE meters are usually quite expensive.
How to choose a suitable device for measuring blood pressure?
- Evaluate your capabilities. Electronic blood PRESSURE meters are expensive, but their use does not require special skills. Tonometers are cheaper, but using them requires a certain skill. In addition, using a tonometer is difficult to measure blood PRESSURE without assistance.
- Apparatus for measuring blood PRESSURE – a fairly complex device. When buying, pay attention to the marking, instructions in Russian, the device passport and warranty card.
- When buying a tonometer, remember that you still need a phonendoscope. It is not always included.
- Do not purchase the device from hands, friends or if the device has visible defects (cracks, chips, etc.). In these cases, measurement accuracy cannot be guaranteed.
How to measure blood pressure?
When measuring blood PRESSURE must strictly adhere to certain rules. These universal rules should be observed regardless of the type of machine.
- Do not smoke or drink coffee or strong tea 30 minutes before measurement.
- Before measuring blood PRESSURE, you need to sit quietly for 5 minutes.
- Measure blood PRESSURE always in a sitting position. Hand to measure blood PRESSURE must be relaxed and free from clothing. There should be no scars on this arm from brachial artery incisions, swelling or fistulas for hemodialysis.
- Position the arm so that the elbow is at the level of the heart. It is best to put your hand on the table, just above the level of the waist.
- Place the cuff on the shoulder so that its lower edge is 2.5 cm (2 fingers) above the elbow fold. Fasten the cuff so that it fits tightly over the shoulder, but does not cause a feeling of compression or pain.
- After measuring the blood PRESSURE, repeat the measurement after 2 minutes. If the two readings differ by more than 5 mm Hg. article, you need to measure the blood pressure again. Calculate the average.
Please note that…
At the first visit to the doctor it is necessary to measure blood PRESSURE on both hands. With a difference in blood PRESSURE equal to or greater than 10 mm Hg. for example, in the subsequent blood pressure SHOULD be measured on the arm with high pressure.
Obese people should use a cuff of large size.