Blood pressure or commonly known as (BP) is one of the principal vital signs of human being.The word pressure itself means the pressure brought about by the circulating blood towards the wall of the blood vessels. When the heart is beating, the blood pressure (BP) depends on each heartbeat.The maximum pressure is called the “systolic” while the minimum pressure is the “diastolic”.
Equipment used in taking manually blood pressure
a.Sphygmomanometer (aneroid or mercurial)
c.Jot down pad and pen/pencil
The interpretation and meaning of the blood pressure can only be made by a qualified physician.Most people’s blood pressure varies a great deal during each day; checking the pressures a number of times during the day give a better representation of your blood pressure range.
Steps on how to measure blood pressure:
1.You have to choice comfortable and quiet place.
2.Let the patient sit in a comfortable way in place.Explain to him/her what is to be done, the discomfort of a tightening cuff, the importance of relaxing his/her arms and why silence during the procedure must be observed.In this manner, you will gain cooperation with the patient, diminish the anxiety and would allow you to take the blood pressure accurately.
3.Prepare and bring the needed equipment with you, then have the patient sit or lie down depending on his/her condition and preference.
4.Position left palm upward exposing the patient’s forearm.This position places the branchial artery so that the stethoscope can rest on it conveniently on the antecubital fossa.
5.Extend your arm.Using your other hand find the mid-arm (brachial) pulse in it.This pulse is just to the inner side of the arm, on the front of the arm, at a level a bit higher than the elbow.(It is just to the inner side of where the biceps muscle starts).Always remember where the pulse is located.
6.Wind the self-adhering hook-and loop-cloth cuff snugly over the upper arm, leaving the pulse uncovered.The rubber tube should come of the cuff near the pulse.Your arm must be supported and resting at about the level of your heart.
7.Place the stethoscope ear set on.
8.Place the stethoscope chest piece (diaphragm) over the pulse.When checking your own pressure for the first few times, it is probably easier to tape the chest-piece to your arm.
9.Tighten the screw over the rubber bulb (which closes the air valve).
10.Inflate the cuff by squeezing the rubber bulb repeatedly; listen through the stethoscope while doing this.If you are checking your own pressure, squeeze the bulb with your free hand, not with the hand on the same arm as you are checking the pressure on.
11.As the pressure in the arm cuff rises you will hear a beating sound at some point.Rapidly raise the pressure until the beating sound disappears; then raise it another 20 to 25 points higher (check gauge). Alternatively, you can raise the pressure to a level about 25 points higher than the point at which you can no longer feel the mid-arm pulse.If you still have difficulty with these two procedures, you can try just raising the pressure to about 230 points.
12.Open the screw for the valve over the rubber bulb, to decrease the pressure about 2 to 4 points per second, listening all the time.
13.Note the gauge reading when the beating sound first appear as the pressure falls.This is the “systolic” pressure.
14.As the pressure continues falling, note the point at which the beating stops.This is a measure of the “diastolic” pressure.
15.Record the systolic and diastolic pressures with date and time, for the medical physician to see.It is often handy to use lined paper with one line for each pressure-reading session