How to measure blood pressure correctly is a pressing question for many people suffering from diseases that cause its decrease or increase. Some people have to measure it regularly, tracking the change in indicators, while others resort to such a procedure only when they feel unwell.
When constantly measuring, it is necessary to follow a number of rules to get the correct values:
- always perform the procedure at the same time, otherwise the values will vary;
- do not consume caffeine and do not smoke for an hour, as it makes no sense to measure the pressure with a mechanical and electronic device after that, the results will be seriously distorted;
- before starting the procedure, stay 2-3 minutes in a calm state, otherwise frequent heartbeats will cause incorrect data;
- do not move or talk while the device is working, otherwise the values may increase by 6-7 mmHg.
The procedure can be repeated not earlier than after a couple of minutes. Otherwise, the pressure exerted on the vessels will distort the values obtained.
How to measure pressure with a mechanical tonometer
To obtain the correct results with the use of such a device will require a little experience and full adherence to the instructions. First of all, the arm should be bent so that the brachial artery, which is located in the elbow bend, was approximately at the level of the heart.
Then the cuff is placed, the lower part of which should be 2.5 cm above the elbow bend. Once secured, it should fit snugly around the upper arm without falling off. Then the arm should be slightly bent at the elbow and you can start measuring.
Since the pressure is to be measured with a handheld device, then first it is necessary to find out the systolic arterial blood pressure. To do this, one hand should control the pulse on the radial artery, and the other hand should pump the cuff. When the beating of the heart is no longer felt, it is necessary to memorize the indicators and add 30 mm Hg to them. This will allow you to accurately inflate, and also avoid getting into the silent interval at the next measurement.
Since it is necessary to measure the pressure again, it is necessary to release the air from the cuff and wait thirty seconds. The stethoscope is then placed over the brachial artery and inflated to the level noted earlier. The air is then released at a slow rate. It is important to note the moment when the sound of two consecutive contractions was heard. Now it is necessary to release air until the sound disappears – this level will be the diastolic pressure. If there is a big difference between the two values, both are recorded.
How to measure pressure with an automatic device
Modern models that independently perform all the necessary actions are much easier to use. It is enough to put the cuff on the arm, depending on its model, it should be either in the area of the elbow bend or closer to the wrist. Then it remains only to press the button of the device, and all measurements will be performed without the patient’s participation. The display shows pulse and blood pressure readings. Many models support the function of three consecutive measurements, allowing you to get the most accurate average result.
Since you need to measure the pressure accurately, you need to find which arm usually has the highest reading. To do this, several consecutive measurements are taken and then the results are compared. After that, you should only use the hand in which the highest pressure is recorded.
Knowing how to work with both types of devices, you can easily recognize the current blood pressure readings on your own. It should be noted that automatic models, in most cases, give much more accurate readings.