Hypertension or high blood pressure is a very common problem. And key to manage the high BP is serially monitoring and keeping a tab on it. Blood Pressure has 2 components Systolic ( the higher figure ) and Diastolic ( the lower figure ). There are various Sphygmomanometers available in the market and they all are useful and accurate provided they are calibrated at regular intervals. Calibration means whether the machine is measuring properly.
Common ones are :
1. Mercury Sphygmomanometers
2. Aneroid Sphygmomanometers
3. Digital Sphygmomanometers
Digital BP apparatuses are commonly used now a days due to their ease of use and the ability for patients to be able to measure the blood pressure even by their own selves. The trick over here is to make sure your BP cuff is wrapped properly and BP Monitor is at the level of your heart.
Standard way of measuring BP is using right hand and cuff should be wrapped around the arm 2 fingers above the elbow ( cubital fossa ) and the cuff should be wrapped in way that only 2 fingers can be inserted between cuff and arm.
Patient should be calm and sitting on a chair.
In a digital BP apparatus , once the cuff is properly wrapped , Make sure the BP Apparatus is at the level of heart. Inflate the cuff. The cuff will inflate till the arterial flow is compressed. Don't worry the pressure will be down again in few seconds. Let the cuff deflate automatically and once it stops, the digital screen will show 3 readings - your SBP ; DBP and your Pulse Rate. Kindly note these readings for future reference and to maintain BP Log.
Few Instructions may be given to the patient :
1. Rest quietly for 5 minutes beforehand.
2. Sit with your feet flat on the floor, back and arm supported, and arm at heart level.
3. Apply cuff on a bare arm.
4. Measure BP twice in the morning and twice in the evening for 7 days before Dr's Appointment.
5. Keep BP readings in a log.
6. Do Not smoke or drink caffeine 30 minutes beforehand.
Kindly maintain BP Log as in the following image attached.