Checking blood pressure at home is easy and you don’t require your doctor’s help every time. Monitoring your blood pressure is necessary especially when your doctors recommend you to do so regularly.
What Are The Steps To Remember Before Monitoring Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure can increase due to many factors like cold temperatures, smoking, exercise, caffeine, stress, and certain medications.
Monitoring your blood pressure at the same time each day can give you proper results as it can fluctuate at any time.
Before Monitoring Blood Pressure
- Search for a quiet place where you can sit comfortably and carefully listen to your heartbeat.
- You should be in a relaxed position with an empty bladder as a full bladder can fluctuate the readings.
- Make sure not to wear any tight clothes and roll up your sleeves on your arm.
- Now, rest in a chair for about 10-15 minutes next to a table. Rest your arm at your heart level. Sit in a straight position and your back against the chair.
- Your legs should be uncrossed and rest your forearm on the table and palm should be facing up.
Steps To Monitor Your Blood Pressure
If you have a digital sphygmomanometer or manual blood pressure monitor, then read the instructions carefully in the given manual. Following are the steps to measure the blood pressure of your left arm and reverse the side for checking the blood pressure of your right arm.
Locating your pulse
- Tightly press your index or middle finger to the inside center of the elbow bend.
- In case you are not able to locate your pulse, then place your arm cuff, if you are using a digital monitor or the head of the stethoscope if you are using a manual monitor.
- When you are using a manual monitor, slide your cuff onto your arm and make sure that the stethoscope head is placed over the artery.
- The lower end of the cuff should be 1 inch above the bend of the elbow and mark the cuff with an arrow for the location of the stethoscope head.
- Use the fabric fastener for making the cuff snug, however, make sure that it is not too tight.
- Now, put the stethoscope in your ears and hear the sound. For hearing the best sound, tilt the earpieces.
Inflating and deflating the cuff
- In case you are using a manual monitor, then hold the pressure gauge in the left hand and bulb in the right hand.
- Turn the screw clockwise to close the airflow valve on the bulb.
- Squeeze the bulb with your right hand and the cuff will be inflated and you will hear your pulse in the stethoscope.
- Keep an eye on the gauge and continue inflating the cuff until the gauge shows a reading about 30 points(mm Hg) above the systolic blood pressure. You will not hear your pulse in the stethoscope at this point.
- Now, slowly release the pressure in the cuff by opening the airflow valve in a counterclockwise direction while keeping an eye on the gauge. The gauge will decrease only 2 to 3 points with every heartbeat.
- As soon as you hear the first pulse beat, take a reading of the gauge. This particular reading is your systolic blood pressure.
- Now, slowly deflate the cuff.
- Listen until the sound fully disappears. As soon as you no longer hear any sound of the pulse, take a reading of the gauge. This is your diastolic blood pressure.
- Now, deflate the cuff completely.
For an accurate reading, hold your arms straight. If you do not hear the pulse sound, do not inflate the cuff again. Wait at least one minute and start by reapplying the cuff.
- In the case of a digital monitor, hold the bulb in your right hand.
- Now, press the power button of the monitor. All the readings are initially zero which means that the monitor is ready to take the readings.
- By squeezing the bulb, inflate the cuff. If the monitor has automatic cuff inflation, simply press the power button.
- Keep an eye on the gauge and continue inflating till the gauge shows a reading above 30 points above your systolic blood pressure.
- Watch the monitor and sit quietly. The readings will be automatically displayed on the screen of the monitor.
- Now, wait for a long beep as it indicates that the measurements are complete. Now, note the readings. Systolic blood pressure appears left on the screen and diastolic pressure appears on the right side.
- The pulse readings will also be displayed after the pressure readings.
- Allow the deflation of the cuff.
In case you do not get accurate measurements, do not inflate the cuff again. Start reapplying the cuff and wait one minute before taking the measurements again.
Record the blood pressure
Record the date, systolic blood pressure, diastolic pressure, and time. Take suggestions from your doctor as to when to monitor blood pressure and in how many time intervals.
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