Measuring blood pressure usually requires having access to a sphygmomanometer or other equipment that will provide accurate results. But do you know that you can still measure blood pressure without using any high tech equipment and at the same time get the same results? It is possible to do so with just the use of a stethoscope and an arm cuff. This simple tool will provide accurate results even without standard equipment used by doctors and nurses.
This article will show you how to measure the systolic blood pressure manually using no or minimal equipment. You would still need a sphygmomanometer to measure the diastolic pressure, though.
- Place your index and ring fingers on the patient's wrist. His palm must be facing upward. Look for his radial pulse. It can be felt just below the thumb and slightly in between his wrist. Once you find his radial pulse, just keep your two fingers there and feel the beat of his pulse.
- Once that you find his pulse, you can actually read his blood pressure. You will base the beat of his pulse to measure his blood pressure. In fact, once you feel his pulse, it means that you can estimate the systolic measurement, of which the normal rate is 80. If the pulse is stronger than usual, this means a higher systolic measurement. However, if the pulse is weaker, the rate will be closer to 80.
- Now use the arm cuff to measure it accurately. The patient must wear a loose shirt to get the sleeve rolled up comfortably. The patient must sit down straight while his arm is resting on a flat surface. Wrap the cuff around the arm; it is recommended that the arm is at level with his heart. Place a book or anything underneath to support the arm at the correct height.
- Place the stethoscope under the arm cuff and just above his elbow were the brachial artery is located. Now inflate the arm cuff, making sure that his arm is well relaxed before inflating it. Inflate the cuff until you can no longer hear the patient's pulse. Then slowly deflate the cuff at 2mmhg per second and listen very carefully. Pay attention to the beat of his pulse. You will need to take at least two to three readings at two minutes apart. If you have two readings, disregard the first one and take the second reading which proves to be the more accurate result.
- Deflate the cuff until the air completely comes out and you can no longer hear his pulse. The normal rate must be 130/80. If you tried to get the blood pressure of a pregnant woman, it is normal to get a higher result.
Blood pressure is often unstable and tends to go up or down depending on what activity a person is doing. If one's blood pressure goes up, try measuring again after a few minutes. However, if your blood pressure consistently high, then it is advisable to consult a physician. High blood pressure is a health problem, so it's important to not underestimate this condition, which might lead to other, more serious, complications.