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9 Tips for Taking Accurate Blood Pressure Readings


9 Tips for Taking Accurate Blood Pressure ReadingsAvoid the Most Common Blood Pressure Measurement Errors

Blood pressure measurement is one of the most common and basic elements of a medical assessment, yet is one of the most inaccurately performed according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

The AHA states that “there is increasing evidence that this procedure may lead to the misclassification of large numbers of individuals as hypertensive and also to a failure to diagnose blood pressure that may be normal in the clinic setting but elevated at other times in some individuals. There are 3 main reasons for this: (1) inaccuracies in the methods, some of which are avoidable; (2) the inherent variability of blood pressure; and (3) the tendency for blood pressure to increase in the presence of a physician (the so-called white coat effect). “

Follow these tips from Welch Allyn, a manufacturer of high-end medical supplies for nearly 100 years, to help avoid inaccuracies in your blood pressure readings.

9 Tips for Taking Accurate Blood Pressure Readings

  1. Use the proper size cuff
  2. Place the cuff on a bare arm
  3. Place the artery marker over the brachial artery
  4. Allow just two fingers to fit underneath the cuff for a snug fit
  5. Have the patient sit quietly for a few minutes
  6. Do not talk to the patient while taking the blood pressure
  7. Keep the patient’s back supported and make sure the legs are uncrossed
  8. Keep the upper arm at heart level and support the lower arm
  9. Keep the arm still