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How to measure blood pressure with a manual sphygmomanometer, smartphone or electric machine. Advice on when to take blood pressure and table of optimal values.
Measure your blood pressure arterial is of fundamental importance, especially for those who are overweight, obese or those in the family who have a history of cardiovascular disease. The measured value can be a first indicator of the physical health of the individual therefore it is recommended measure blood pressure on a regular basis or in special cases, daily, following timetablespre-established. People at risk, who have already been diagnosed with hypertension, must measure blood pressure twice daily.
Instruments for measuring pressure
The most reliable device for measure blood pressure it is the sphygmomanometer, there are models of all prices on the market, for the choice just ask the pharmacist for advice or choose the best online offer, reading the reviews of users who have already tested the device.
Electric machine to measure the pressure
An alternative to the sphygmomanometer is the electric meter or electric sphygmomanometer not recommended by many doctors because it is inaccurate but certainly much easier to use - just apply it to the wrist or arm and start it to view the maximum and minimum pressure values-. In recent years, theelectric machine for measuring blood pressureit has been re-evaluated by the scientific community, also thanks to the advancement of technologies that allow blood pressure to be measured more precisely.
The latest models on the market, in fact, seem to be even more precise and reliable than the classic manual pump sphygmomanometers, the reason? They canstandardizethe procedure always applying the same force to the "cuff". If, with the manual instrument, the operator introduces an excess of air into the cuff, it could distort the pressure values detected.
Manual sphygmomanometer and belt to measure blood pressure
What makes the difference is also the size of the bracelet or band, the one that is wrapped around the user's arm. Obese patients will have to choose a sphygmomanometer with an L or XL cuff, because the standard cuff could give false pressure values (generally, overestimated, therefore they would report a pressure higher than the real blood pressure).
Measuring blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer is more complex but not impossible. The classic manometer is accompanied by a graduated mercury column and a stethoscope.
The stethoscope it consists of a device that is placed in the ears and will allow you to hear the pulsations that will be detected by a membrane placed on the circular end of the stethoscope. The circular unit must be placed just above the bend of the elbow, as shown in the image above, but must be placed under the band. The fascia, swelling, tighten the ducts of the bloodstream and will allow the stethoscope to let the operator detect the maximum and minimum pressure.
How to measure blood pressure with a manual sphygmomanometer and stethoscope
In this guide, we will seehow to use the sphygmomanometer.
- Wrap the inflatable bladder (also called a band, or bracelet) around the right arm, at heart level, leaving the bend of the elbow free.
- Apply the membrane of the stethoscope between the sleeve and the crease of the elbow and, simultaneously, place the index and middle fingers on the wrist to perceive the heartbeat. Be careful not to use your thumb otherwise you will feel your own beats. Of course, if you are measuring yourself, you will not be able to feel your pulse as well.
- Fill the cuff with air until the heart tones disappear - you can perceive them with the stethoscope - and look at the mercury column or the analog reader that is connected to the belt.
- Bring the mercury column at least 30 millimeters higher than the previous measurement.
- Slowly deflate the cuff, the maximum pressure corresponds to the figure reached by the column at the exact moment when the arterial tones have reappeared (when you will hear new beats through the stethoscope).
- Continue to deflate the cuff;
- The minimum pressure is dictated by the figure reached at the moment when the arterial tones disappear again.
How to measure blood pressure with your smartphone
In recent times, even theprofessional digital sphygmomanometersthey have the function of connecting to the mobile phone, transmitting and recording, in real time, the blood pressure values detected.
Among the products to be managed directly with the smartphone or tablet, I point out iHealth BP5, a professional wireless blood pressure monitor consisting of a single wrist strap and equipped with wireless connectivity to transmit the data collected on the smartphone, generate graphs and keep constant track of the measurement history. The product mentioned is not the only oneprofessional electric blood pressure gaugebut that's the one that has the most positive reviews on Amazon. For all information on the product, I refer you tothis Amazon page.
Table of blood pressure values
In the table below, there are the optimal (ideal) values of the maximum pressure (or systolic pressure) and minimum pressure (or diastolic pressure). The borderline between hypertension and high blood pressure, but normal, must be evaluated by the doctor.
In all cases, it is advisable not only to consult the doctor but also to be followed by a nutritionist in food choices. Nutrition is essential in regulating blood pressure and can play an adjuvant role even in the case of drug therapy in hypertensive patients.
When to measure blood pressure
- Measure your blood pressure twice a day, at the same time
- Blood pressure should be measured after urinating
- Measure your blood pressure away from sources of anxiety or stress
- Before taking your blood pressure, you need to rest for at least 5 minutes
- Avoid talking before and during the measurement
- Don't cross your legs
- Measure your blood pressure while sitting
- Place the band on your right arm
- The arm must be kept in a horizontal position and at heart level
- Mark the values on a journal to keep track of them at all times or use the memo table below.
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