How to measure blood pressure?
Blood pressure is a measurable quantity that indicates the force with which blood pushes against the walls of arteries at the time of the greatest contraction of the heart muscle (upper, systolic) and at the time of its greatest relaxation (lower, diastolic). The unit of pressure is millimeters of mercury.
There are certain limits within which normal pressure values vary. Deviations from this norm indicate violations of the cardiovascular system and, in the case of an irresponsible attitude of the person to their health, lead to serious consequences. Therefore, a person should be interested in monitoring the state of his cardiovascular system, and for this you need to know how to measure blood pressure.
Pressure Measuring Apparatus
Blood pressure monitors (tonometers) are mechanical and electronic.
The mechanical tonometer was invented in the early twentieth century.His slightly improved model is used now. A very simple and inexpensive device consists of a manometer (gauge with a scale), a cuff to which a pear is attached with a thin rubber hose, and a phonendoscope, an instrument that allows you to hear very quiet sounds.
The main disadvantage of this tonometer is that not everyone who theoretically knows how to properly measure blood pressure can perform accurate measurements in practice. To do this, you need a certain skill, which is the ability to perform certain actions synchronously and catch the change in tones (noise that occurs when air is released from the cuff).
To avoid inaccuracies in obtaining the result, it is recommended to re-measure approximately five minutes after the first. In an emergency, there may be no time to check the testimony.
That is why nowadays more and more people who want to control their blood pressure, prefer electronic tonometers. Mechanical measuring devices are more often used by professionals.
Electronic blood pressure meters produce a more accurate result, regardless of the skills of the person conducting the measurement. When using it, it is not necessary for the cuff to contact directly with the skin, as when working with a mechanical tonometer. This is important for people with hypersensitivity who may experience discomfort when squeezing their hands.
For such people it is more convenient to fix the cuff over the thin fabric of the sleeve. The only condition that must be observed when working with an electronic pressure gauge: at the time of measurement, the patient's hand must be completely stationary.
There are several categories of people who need regular pressure monitoring. Often they exercise this control on their own, but not everyone knows how to measure blood pressure in a particular case, therefore, they record results that do not always correspond to reality.
- For example, the measurement of pressure in the elderly should be made in a sitting position, and in a standing position.Their pressure is often unstable, and the arithmetic average, obtained on the basis of several measurements in different positions, will provide a more reliable result and, if necessary, take adequate measures.
- Pregnant women also need to monitor blood pressure. Measurements should be made in a reclining position. It is advisable to keep a record sheet, where to enter the received indicators daily.
- To measure the level of blood pressure in children will need a special children's cuff. Manipulation should be done by a medical professional who knows to what level air can be forced into the cuff.
It is difficult to measure pressure in obese or siloviki athletes who have a large shoulder circumference. In this case, you will have to use a special tonometer, which is fixed on the wrist.
Measure blood pressure with mechanical tonometer
The algorithm for measuring blood pressure is simple.
- Fix the cuff on the forearm approximately 2 cm above the elbow bend.
- Attach the phonendoscope to the cubital fossa under the lower edge of the cuff.
- Quickly inject air into the cuff with a pear, listening to the pulsation.Record the readings of the pressure gauge at the time of the cessation of the pulsation sounds and continue air injection until the figure increases by 40 mm. Hg st.
- Slowly releasing air from the cuff, follow the position of the gauge needle at the moment of the appearance and complete cessation of the pulsation. The first digit will show the level of systolic pressure, the second - the level of diastolic pressure.
Rules that are not always respected
In order to get a more realistic picture, the patient must follow the rules for measuring blood pressure. The lack of attention to these recommendations distorts the real indicators, which leads to errors in the diagnosis.
So, before measuring the pressure, it is necessary to empty the bladder, rest for at least 15 minutes. Half an hour before the procedure, do not smoke and eliminate the consumption of energy drinks, coffee. When measuring blood pressure, you must sit or lie flat, relaxed, avoid squeezing in the abdominal cavity.
These tips will help to more accurately know the value of blood pressure. After all, sometimes it is very important to control the value of your blood pressure.Regular measurements of blood pressure are shown to people at risk: hypertensive patients suffering from heart disease, as well as to some extent, and hypotension.
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