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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Know Your Blood Pressure Apparatus: The parts of a sphygmomanometer

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a significant health condition. Not treating it correctly can have fatal consequences. As an indicator of a patient’s state of health, one’s blood pressure must be monitored accurately.

And here’s where the sphygmomanometer—the equipment used to measure blood pressure—enters the picture. It allows the medical practitioner to listen to the flow of blood through the artery.

How does a sphygmomanometer work?

Some blood pressure monitoring devices are battery operated, while others are operated manually. To get an accurate measurement of your patient’s BP using a manually operated sphygmomanometer, follow these  steps:

1.    Prepare your stethoscope and sphygmomanometer
2.    Let your patient relax for at least 5 minutes before you check his or her blood pressure.
3.    Put the BP cuff/gauge around the patient’s upper arm.
4.    Check his or her pulse.
5.    Place the stethoscope on his or her pulse (wrist).
6.    Slowly inflate the gauge/cuff while listening to the pulse.
7.    When the cuff is fully inflated, slowly deflate it while listening to the systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
8.    Repeat the process to double check the BP result.

What are the basic components of a sphygmomanometer?

BP Cuff—a cloth-like material attached or connected to the valve and bulb. It is positioned on the patient’s upper arm and held in place using the Velcro strap. It is designed to fit all body sizes.

Bulb—an egg-shaped piece of black rubber used to pump air that inflates the cuff to check the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. It is designed to pump different cuff sizes.

Manometer–a meter that displays readings of blood pressure measurements. It comes in different designs, with aneroid, mercury, or digital meters. The medical attendant can choose which manometer type he or she prefers.

Valve—a silver-like metal piece attached to the bulb to control the inflation and deflation of the cuff.

Inflation/Deflation Bladder—rubber or elastic tubes that are connected to the cuff, manometer, bulb, and valve. It must be kept free of holes to avoid air leaks; otherwise, it won’t inflate and deflate the cuff. 

A sphygmomanometer is a very practical, portable medical instrument. In less than a minute, you can check your patient’s blood pressure. You don’t even need to be qualified medical personnel to use it. Just operate it according to the instructions. Buy the sphygmomanometer only from a reliable supplier.

This is a guest blog post.

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