Measuring blood pressure at home: Blood pressure and correct measurement
August 29, 2016
Blood pressure measured at home is done possibly at the request of the doctor. This is necessary, for example when the patient has high blood pressure and the doctor wants to observe the blood pressure of the patient use of medication and changes in lifestyle. For this purpose, a blood pressure monitor is required. On the market, a wide range of devices available, but the chosen device must be of good quality and fit. The doctor will discuss with the patient how often the measurements are required. Measuring more than requested is not necessary and may cause unintended anxiety in the patient when the values are higher or lower than expected. Thanks to some tips the patient choose the correct device and obtains accurate measurements.
Blood pressure consists of systolic and diastolic pressure
The blood pressure is, in fact, the force with which the blood pressure on the wall of the arteries (arteries). When measuring the blood pressure, the physician always obtains the systolic pressure (top pressure) and diastolic pressure (under pressure). The display is in mm Hg (millimeters of mercury), in which first the systolic pressure appears (usually between 120/80 mmHg) and then after that the diastolic pressure (typically between 90/60 mmHg). An example of a blood pressure is 110/70 mm Hg.
Systolic pressure (systolic pressure)
The systolic pressure is the consequence of the pressure which is established in the arteries during the contraction of the ventricle (heart chamber). The blood is pumped from the heart into the arteries. The height of the systolic blood pressure is primarily dependent on the core strength, the minimum pressure of the blood against the blood vessel wall.
Diastolic pressure (vacuum)
The diastolic pressure is due to the pressure created in the blood vessels when the heart relaxes. Here the blood exerts no force.
Types of blood pressure monitor to measure blood pressure at home
Manual blood pressure monitors
Manual devices are equipped with a cuff. This places the patient around the arm. Here, too, has a rubber knot, and a meter which measures the blood pressure. A stethoscope is needed to the pulsing of blood through the artery to hear. The patient sees in the measurement of the blood pressure, the needle in the moving around on a circular dial, wherein the pressure in the cuff rising or falling. When used as manual devices are very accurate. However, they are not standard recommended type of blood pressure monitor for home use.
Digital Blood Pressure Monitors
A digital device has a cuff on board confirming the patient around the arm. To inflate the cuff, the patient uses a rubber knot. But there are also other types available where the patient presses a button and then increase automatically. Once the cuff is inflated, the pressure will slowly sink. The digital screen automatically displays the measurement of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The cuff is spontaneously empty when the blood pressure shown on the screen. For most devices, the patient must wait two to three minutes before being able to perform a new measurement. A digital blood pressure monitors not as accurate when the body is moving in the width. Also causes an irregular heartbeat for a less precise measurement. Digital blood pressure monitors, however, are the best choice for most patients.
Choosing the right phone
The most important tip is to buy a clinically validated device so that the patient is assured of accurate results. A blood pressure monitor in which the measurement is done on the upper arm has significantly preferred over a type in which the measurement is done via the wrist or the finger. Namely, an upper arm blood pressure usually gives the most accurate and consistent results. The cuff should also fit in the middle between the shoulder and elbow. Usually, most blood pressure monitors for home use a medium sized cuff, but sometimes a different size is necessary. Furthermore, it is recommended a good quality device, but the price does not always something about the quality. For example, some devices offer a lot of additional features; the patient has not always necessary. For example, a pen and paper are sufficient to record measurements, and this does not always need to be saved.
Tips for correct measurement of blood pressure
In the measurement, it is useful to support the arm. The patient, therefore, places the upper arm at heart level, and he puts his feet on the ground. Furthermore, the back is supported, and the patient does not do each other the legs. The best time to measure blood pressure after the patient has rested for at least five minutes. It is also necessary to obtain a correct measurement to remain as still as possible to sit and not talk. This also applies to just after the reading of the blood pressure. The patient should always use the same arm for blood pressure because the ever changing arm gives varying results. The tracksuit may also not be too tense. Moreover, the patient preferably takes two or three measurements, each with a time interval of a few minutes. He then takes the average of these measurements as the final result.
The proper calibration of the device in which the measurement is done automatically is also required every two years. In this way, the results are correct. The patient, therefore, send the unit back to the manufacturer every two years.
Do not measure?
Measuring blood pressure is not a good idea in certain circumstances, in particular:
- within thirty minutes after drinking caffeine
- within thirty minutes after the use of a tobacco product
- in a stressful period (this gives a temporary increase in blood pressure)
- just after eating a large meal