12 tips to ensure you get the most accurate BP measurement
There’s a lot to taking a blood pressure measurement properly in general practice, according to a 90-page scientific statement just released by the American Heart Association.
Here are 12 tips from their statement titled Measurement of Blood Pressure in Humans.
- Use an automated oscillatory sphygmomanometer over the traditional auscultatory technique – it’s more accurate. Ideally use one that allows multiple readings with one activation.
- Make sure the patient has emptied their bladder.
- Leave the patient sitting quietly in a chair for 3-5 minutes before taking their BP
- Use a cuff with a length equal to 75-100% of the patient’s upper arm circumference (which is measured halfway between the olecranon and the acromium). Using too small a cuff in a large person is the most frequent mistake measuring BP in the office, leading to elevated readings.
- Put the cuff