Blood Pressure Checking


  1. Position the pressure cuff
    1. Practice the following procedure several times to become familiar with the equipment. 
    2. Before checking, relax and rest for at least 15 minutes. This will reduce the error due to physical activity. 
    3. If you are right-handed, slip the pressure cuff over your left arm with left palm facing up. 
    4. Sitting or lying, ensure that arm rests at the same level as your heart. 
    5. Grasp the end of the cuff and pull it snug then wrap it around and over your arm pressing together with Velcro tape to secure the cuff.
  2. Inflate the cuff:
    1. Feel the pulse of the artery (this artery can also be found by feeling the pulse of the artery just above the elbow on the inside of the arm) with your fingertips then ensure the sound head of the stethoscope is located directly over it. 
    2. Wear the stethoscope. It may be difficult at first for you to detect the sounds of the pulse beat, listen carefully and acquaint yourself with the unfamiliar sounds. 
    3. Close the air-flow valve on the bulb (turn clockwise).
    4. Hold the gauge with your left hand. 
    5. Squeeze the bulb with your right hand. Watch the gauge. When you can no longer hear the pulse beat, raise the pressure an additional 30mm.
  3. Slowly deflate the cuff
    1. Slowly open the air-flow valve by turning counterclockwise so that the pressure drops 2-4mmHg with each beat of your heart (a drop of one to two marks per second). The rate of deflation is important for accurate reading. 
    2. Remember, the pressure of the cuff has shut off all blood flow to the arm, so do not leave it inflated longer than necessary. 
      1. The moment you hear the faint rhythmic tapping or thumping sound of the pulse beat, note the reading on the gauge. That is the systolic (upper) blood pressure.
      2. You should also notice the needle on the gauge “bounce” when your systolic pressure is reached.
      3. As the pressure drops, the sounds you hear will change the phases. From the first sharp tagging or thud, they will soften to blowing or swishing sounds. At the exact point when you can no longer hear the sounds (except the pulse), note the gauge reading. That is the diastolic (lower) blood pressure reading.
  1. Notice
    1. With proper care your blood pressure monitor will provide many years of reliable service. To insure a well functioning unit, follow these basic rules.
    2. Pressure gauge should be handled with care. Do not drop. Needle should indicate zero when cuff is fully deflated.