Learning how to take blood pressure properly is important for anyone with health problems such as heart disease. Taking your blood pressure at home is an easy an economical way to monitor your health without costly doctor visits. Electronic blood pressure monitors are easy to use and are usually self-explanatory. The following instructions detail how to take blood pressure readings with a manual monitor.
You will need:
- A manual blood pressure monitor
- A stethoscope
- Sit quietly for about five to ten minutes prior to taking your blood pressure without your arms or legs crossed. Roll up the sleeve on your left arm if needed. Relaxing is crucial in learning how to take blood pressure.
- With your left arm at heart level, slide the blood pressure cuff up the arm until it is right above the elbow. The stethoscope should be located at the inner bend of the elbow where the pulse is most prominent.
- You should hold the pressure gauge in the left hand since that hand needs to be perfectly still. Hold the blood pressure bulb in the right hand. Make sure the valve on the bulb is closed so the air will fill the cuff.
- Squeeze the bulb until the gauge reads about 30 points above the normal systolic pressure, so you're shooting for 150. You will probably begin to hear your pulse through the stethoscope.
- Slowly begin releasing the air flow valve on the bulb. When you hear the first pulse beat, make a note of the reading. This is your systolic pressure reading. The systolic pressure is the number on top of the reading. You will need a lot of practice to learn how to take blood pressure properly.
- As you continue deflating the cuff slowly, you will cease to hear your pulse beating. At the moment you can't hear it any more, make a note of the reading. This is your diastolic pressure or the bottom number of your blood pressure reading. Record your blood pressure like this: 120/80.
- To take blood pressure accurately, you must not be under stress, must not had recent strenuous exercise, must not had recently smoked cigarettes or must not had any caffeine because these activities will raise blood pressure.
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