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How to measure blood pressure?

12 May 2007

Blood pressure should be measured in a standard manner and the equipment used must meet certification criteria.

The following techniques are recommended :

  1. The patient should be seated on a chair with their backs supported and their arms bared and supported at heart level. They should not smoke or ingest caffeine during the 30 minutes preceding the measurement.
  2. The patient should rest for 5 minutes before blood pressure is taken. An appropriate cuff should be used. The bladder within the cuff should encircle at least 80 percent of the arm.
  3. Measurements should be taken with a mercury sphygmomanometer. A recently calibrated aneroid manometer or a validated electronic device can be used. Finger monitors are not acceptable. Blood pressure devices used for home measurement should be checked periodically by comparing readings with simultaneous readings taken with a mercury device.
  4. Both the systolic (SBP)and diastolic (DBP)blood pressure is recorded. The first appearance of sound is taken as SBP and the disappearance of sound is the DBP.

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