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Measuring Blood Pressure

Measure Your Blood Pressure

Measuring Blood Pressure with a Digital BP Monitor

AHA Recommendation
The American Heart Association recommends home monitoring for all people with high blood pressure to help the healthcare provider determine whether treatments are working. Home monitoring is not a substitute for regular visits to your physician. If you have been prescribed medication to lower your blood pressure, don’t stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor, even if your blood pressure readings are in the normal range during home monitoring.

Measuring Blood Pressure

Posture

  • Sit in a stable, comfortable chair with your back supported.
  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing.
  • Place your arm on a flat surface at about the same height as your heart.
  • Place both feet flat on floor and do not cross legs.

Cuff

  • Blood pressure cuffs come in different sizes. Make sure the cuff you use is the right size for you. If your cuff is too large or too small, you will receive inaccurate readings.
  • Wrap the cuff around the upper arm, leaving approximately two finger-widths space between the bottom of the cuff and the crease at your elbow.
  • Line up tubing to the center inside of your arm. Tighten the cuff firmly around the arm leaving a couple of finger-spaces inside at the top of cuff. When cuff inflates, it should not be painful.

Take your BP reading

  • Sit quietly for few minutes and then push the start button on the BP monitor according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Remain still and quiet while monitor is working.
  • Record your readings.
  • Allow 1 or 2 minutes between additional readings.

Additional information

  • Take your reading at the same time every day.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke 30 minutes before taking BP.
  • Do not exercise before BP reading.
  • Do not take BP reading if you’re are stressed, feeling ill, anxious, cold or have a full bladder.
  • Call your doctor with questions or concerns.

To read more about measuring blood pressure and the causes, cures and management, please consult these additional sources. For questions about your health, consult your doctor.

 

The Merck Manual – High Blood Pressure

 

The American Heart Association – About High Blood Pressure

 

 

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