12 tips to ensure you get the most accurate BP measurement

The American Heart Association has issued its first major guidance on the topic in 14 years

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

  1. Use an automated oscillatory sphygmomanometer over the traditional auscultatory technique – it’s more accurate. Ideally use one that allows multiple readings with one activation.
  2. Make sure the patient has emptied their bladder.
  3. Leave the patient sitting quietly in a chair for 3-5 minutes before taking their BP
  4. 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.
  5. Put the cuff