General recommendations for blood ressure measurement
The level of blood pressure is not a constant value — it continuously varies depending on the impact of various factors. Variation in arterial pressure in patients with hypertension is much greater than in those who do not have this disease.
One of the main factors affecting the level of arterial pressure is the human condition.
Measurement of arterial pressure can be carried out both at rest and during physical or psychoemotional strain, as well as in the intervals between different types of activity.
Measurements at rest allow estimating an approximate level of arterial pressure in certain periods of time, which can be associated, for example, with taking medicines or with other daily living activities.
Arterial pressure is most often measured when the patient is seating. However, in some cases it is necessary to measure arterial pressure when the patient is lying or standing.
In order to perform measurement at rest, it is necessary to provide comfortable conditions for the patient and fulfil the following requirements:
1. Sit comfortably
Place your feet on the floor. Do not cross your legs, as it may raise your readings. Use back-supported chair.
2. Place the cuff correctly
Place the arm cuff just above your elbow. The cuff should be about 2cm above your elbow to make sure it can detect the artery in your arm, just under the skin.
Make sure the cuff is placed at the heart level, as it affects the final results. Having the cuff extremely high leads to artificially low blood pressure reading as a result.
3.Keep relaxed and quiet
Keep still and quiet while you take your reading. Moving, chewing, talking and laughing can affect your reading
When is it allowed to repeat arterial pressure measurement?
Time interval between arterial pressure measurements depends on objectives, patient’s age, presence of arrhythmia, and on other factors.
If it is necessary to perform a series of 2-3 repeated measurements, time interval between measurements should be at least 15 seconds. In this case, the average value of these measurements should be recorded.
On which hand is it better to measure blood pressure?
Pressure difference between arms can be quite significant, that is why it is recommended to take measurement on an arm with higher arterial pressure values.