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aneroid blood pressure monitor
Blood Pressure Monitor
Why should I measure my blood pressure at home and keep a record
Remember blood pressure never remain
constant all the time, it fluctuates even in a day. Measuring your blood pressure at home and
keeping a record of the measurements will show you and your doctor
how much your blood pressure changes during the day. Your doctor can use the measurements to
see how well your medicine is working to control your high blood pressure.
Also, measuring your own blood pressure is a good way to take part in managing your
What equipment do I need to measure my blood pressure?
To measure your blood pressure at home, you can
use either an aneroid monitoror a digital monitor or professional desk top sphygmomanometer. The
aneroid monitor has a dial gauge that is read by looking at a pointer. The cuff is
inflated by hand, by squeezing a rubber bulb.Desktop
sphygmomanometer has built-in locking reservoir secures the mercury during storage,
transport, or maintenance; the filter system keeps the mercury clean for consistently
reliable performance, however you need separate stethoscope to measure Blood
pressure.;Digital monitorshave either manual or automatic cuffs. The
blood pressure reading flashes on a small screen. Choose the type ofmonitor that best suits your
What are the pros and cons of the aneroid monitor?
One advantage ofthe aneroid monitor is that it can easily be carried from one place to
another. Also, the cuff for the device has a built-in stethoscope, so you don't need to buy a
separate stethoscope. It's also easier to manage this way. The unit may have a special
feature that makes it easier to put the cuff on with one
hand. In addition, the aneroid monitor costs less than digital monitors. Aneroid monitors
range in price from about $20 to $30. The chancesof error are much less as compared to digital
The aneroid monitor also has some
disadvantages. First, it is a complicated device that can easily be damaged and become less
accurate. The device is also difficult to use if it doesn't have the special feature--a metal
ring--that makes it easier to put the cuff on. In
addition, the rubber bulb that inflates the cuff may be difficult to
squeeze. This monitor may not be appropriate for hearing-impaired people, becauseof the need to listen to heart sounds through the
stethoscope. It takes more space rather than digital monitors.
What are the pros and cons of the digital monitor?
Because the digital monitor is
automatic, it is the most popular blood-pressure measuring device. The blood pressure
measurement is easy to read, because the numbers are shown on a screen. Some electronic
monitors have a paper printout that gives you a recordof the blood pressure reading.
The digital monitor is easier to use
than the aneroid unit. It has a gauge and stethoscope that are one unit, and the numbers are easy to
read. It also has an error indicator, and deflation is automatic. Inflationof the cuff is either automatic or manual,
depending on the model. This blood pressure monitoring device is good for hearing-impaired
patients, since there is no need to listen to heart sounds through the
A disadvantage ofthe digital monitor is that the accuracy is changed by body movements or
an irregular heart rate. Some persons make cuff tight amd some loose, so there is great
variation in blood pressure reading. In addition, the monitor requires batteries. Some
models are designed for use with the left arm only. This may make them hard for some patients
to use. Finally, some digital monitors are expensive. They range in price from about $30 to
Can I use a finger/wrist blood pressure monitor?
Tests have shown that finger/wrist devices do not measure blood
pressure very accurately. They are extremely sensitive to position and body temperature, and
are more expensive (more than $100) than other monitors.
Features to look for in a blood pressure
The right cuff size is very important.
Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to tell you the cuff size you
need, based on the size of your arm. Blood
pressure readings will be wrong if your cuff is the wrong
Ask yourself what
you need, an aneroid monitor or digital monitor or a professional
The numbers on the monitor must be easy for
you to read.
If you are using a stethoscope, you must be
able to hear heart sounds through it.
Cost may be an important
factor. Since home blood pressure units vary in price, you may have to shop
around. The most expensive units might not be the best or the most
How do I know if my monitoring device is accurate or if I am using it
Once you buy your monitor, take it to your
doctor's office to be checked for accuracy. You should
have your monitor checked once a year. Proper care and storage are also necessary. Make sure
the tubing is not twisted when the monitor is stored, and keep it away from heat.
Periodically check the tubing for cracks and leaks.
Ask your doctor or nurse to teach you how
to use your blood pressure monitor correctly. Proper use ofit will help you and your doctor achieve
good results in controlling your blood pressure. You should have your Blood Pressure checked
by Doctor himself atleast once in year to rule out that you are taking accurate reading
Understanding the medical terms
Blood pressureis the force of blood against the
walls of the
means high blood pressure.
Brachial arteryis a blood vessel that goes from your
shoulder to just below your elbow. You measure the pressure in this
is the highest pressure in an artery when your heart is pumping blood to
pressure is the lowest pressure in an artery when your heart is at
measurementis made up of both the systolic and
the diastolic pressure. It is normally written like this: 120/80,
with the systolic number first.
What do I need to do before I measure my blood pressure?
Don't use caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco or plenty
of water 30 minutes before measuring
your blood pressure.
Go to the bathroom before measuring your blood
Rest for 3 to 5 minutes before measuring your blood
pressure. Do not talk.
Sit in a comfortable position, with your legs and ankles
uncrossed and your back supported.
Place your arm, raised to the level
of your heart, on a table or a desk,
and sit still.
Wrap the correctly sized cuff smoothly and snugly
around the upper part of your bare arm. The cuff should fit
snugly, but there should be enough room for you to slip one fingertip under the
cuff. Remember you should not wrap cuff on your shirt, cuff should always be
wraped around your arm skin.
Be certain that the bottom edgeof the cuff is 1 inch above the
crease of your elbow.
How do I use an aneroid monitor?
Put the stethoscope ear pieces into your ears,
with the ear pieces facing forward. Rest assure that stethoscope is working properly
by checking it by knocking at its diaphragm by finger.
Place the stethoscope disk on the inner
sideof the crease of your elbow.
Rapidly inflate the cuff by squeezing the rubber bulb to
30 to 40 points higher than your last systolic reading. Inflate the cuff rapidly, not
just a little at a time. Inflating the cuff too slowly will cause a false
Slightly loosen the valve and slowly let some air
out of the cuff. Deflate the cuff by 2 to
3 millimeters per second. If you loosen the valve too much, you won't be able to
determine your blood pressure unless you are so expert like
As you let the air out of the cuff, you will begin to hear
your heartbeat. Listen carefully for the first sound. Check the blood pressure
reading by looking at the pointer on the dial. This number will be your systolic
Continue to deflate the cuff. Listen to your heartbeat.
You will hear your heartbeat stop at some point. Check the reading on the dial. This
number is your diastolic pressure.
Write down your blood pressure, putting the systolic
pressure before the diastolic pressure (for example, 120/80).
If you want to repeat the measurement, wait 2 to 3
minutes before reinflating the cuff.
So when you take BP, first sound that appears will show your systolic
BP, and BP at which this sound disappears will be your diastolic
How do I use a digital monitor?
Put the cuff around the arm. Turn the power on, and
start the machine.
The cuff will inflate by itself with a push
of a button on the automatic models.
On the semiautomatic models, the cuff is inflated by squeezing the rubber bulb.
After the cuff is inflated, the automatic mechanism will slowly reduce the cuff
Look at the display window to see your blood pressure
reading. The machine will show your systolic and diastolic blood pressures on the
screen. Write down your blood pressure, putting the systolic pressure before the
Press the exhaust button to release all
of the air from the
If you want to repeat the measurement, wait 2 to 3
minutes before reinflating the cuff.
It is better you take BP twice or thrice with
digital monitor to lessen the chances of error.
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