First, let’s see the pieces of equipment required:
- Blood pressure Cuff or Sphygmomanometer which has inflation bladder inside. Make sure you use standard size one. This is what you wrap around the arm of the patient.
- Pump or Inflation bulb- used to inflate or pump air to the cuff
- Calibrated Manometer gauge- Used for the readings as you inflate air up and as you release
- Stethoscope – To listen to the pulses. It has two earpieces which should be twisted at 15-degree angle and should be pointed forward so when they enter into your ear canal you can get a tight feel. The end of a Stethoscope has two sides which can only be used one at a time the diaphragm and bell. You will be using the diaphragm for this procedure so, make sure the bell hole is covered. If you look at the bell hole and you see it’s covered it means the diaphragm is active or if you twist it and tap and you hear sounds in your ear then it means the
diaphragm is active
- valve- used to control airflow to and from the inflation bladder inside the cuff
Instruct your patient to stretch their arm with the palm up at heart level on a flat surface like a table and have them expose their upper arm. The cuff should rest directly on the skin of the upper arm.
Make sure to fully delate the cuff before beginning your read. Align the middle cuff above the crease of the elbow and wrap it snugly not too tight around the arm, align artery markings from cuff to arm. Make sure patient remains still and silent while you are taking the reading. Clip the meter onto the cuff.
Now take your stethoscope making sure the ear pieces are away from you, put them in your ear canal. Activate the diaphragm and position it above the crease of the elbow, such that the surface of the diaphragm rests on the surface of the skin below the edge of the cuff hold the surface of the stethoscope with your middle and index finger so you don’t confuse pulse of your thumb with the pulse of the
Using the other hand hold the inflation pump and use your thumb and index finger to twist the valve clockwise or to the right side until you feel it stop then begin to inflate the pump by squeezing all the way up until the meter reads 2000mmHg. As soon as you reach 2000mmHg grasp the valve and twist it anti-clockwise to release air but do it slowly at a controlled rate. If air escapes quickly you
may miss the blood pressure reading
The first thumps heard is what we call systolic pressure and the reading where you hear the last thump is called diastolic pressure. As soon as you stop hearing the thumps fully deflate the cuff by turning the knob on the bulb fully anti-clockwise.
If you get a reading of 120/80 then that is considered normal blood pressure
120-139/80-89 the patient is considered to be in pre-hypertension
140-159/90-99 the patient is considered to have high blood pressure which we call hypertension Stage 1 anything above that is considered an emergency.