How to Check Blood Pressure
Monitoring blood pressure can help directly reduce the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases. It is worth highlighting that hypertension or high blood pressure is a silent, asymptomatic disease that can lead to serious consequences for the body. As there are no symptoms initially, it is essential to check blood pressure frequently.
In this sense, doctors recommend that every adult over 20 years of age should check blood pressure at least once a year. If you have a close family member who already suffers from hypertension, this should be done regularly.
Even though it is a disease that affects millions of people around the world, it is still not given due importance. That is why it is so important to address the issue and keep the population informed. Therefore, in today’s article we will see how to check blood pressure and when it should be done. Follow along!
When to Measure Blood Pressure
As we mentioned previously, it is recommended that adults over the age of 20 check their blood pressure at least once a year. In hypertensive patients, the routine should be different. Here are some medical recommendations in this regard:
Frequency: People who suffer from hypertension should check blood pressure regularly, especially those who take antihypertensive medications. This way, they will be able to check their blood pressure and see whether it is controlled or not. And at the same time, know whether the medication is working properly or needs to be adjusted by the doctor.
Correct device: For hypertensive patients, it is more recommended to use digital and automatic devices, which are validated by the competent bodies. These devices are very easy to use, which is why they are the best to use at home.
Standardization: Likewise, blood pressure readings should always be taken before meals and before taking any antihypertensive medication. Also, the bladder must be empty. And the person must rest for at least 5 minutes before checking their blood pressure.
Note: It is always recommended to write down the readings so you can have reference when you go to your doctor’s appointment. You must record the whole numbers that appear on the display: maximum, minimum pressure and heart rate.
How to Check Blood Pressure
To measure blood pressure, it is necessary to follow some care so that there is no change in the reading. For example, you should not consume alcoholic beverages or smoke for at least 30 minutes beforehand, do not practice physical activity for up to an hour beforehand, rest for 5 to 10 minutes before starting the procedure, and empty your bladder.
See below how to perform the procedure using different types of devices:
With Wrist Device
The wrist device is one of the most practical and easy to use. Before starting, choose a quiet environment and sit in a chair with a back, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Therefore, place the device on the wrist of your left or right hand, always following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Keep the arm where you placed the device resting on a surface (this could be a table), with the palm facing up. Then press the power button for the device to start measuring. Keep the wrist still and relaxed during the measurement. Wait a few seconds and the device will display the reading on the screen. Finally, write down the reading, take the device off your wrist and turn it off.
With Digital Device
The preparation for measuring blood pressure using a digital device is the same as previously mentioned. Once you have rested and are in the correct position, place the device cuff on your arm, it cannot be over your sleeve if your clothes have long sleeves. Check that the cuff is well adjusted and comfortable, without over-tightening. Then turn on the device by pressing the power button. The display will light up and the cuff will automatically inflate.
During the measurement, remain calm and relaxed, with your arm resting on a surface. After the process is complete, read the measurements and write down the reading. Finally, remove the cuff from your arm and turn off the device.
With the Sphygmomanometer
It is worth mentioning that this type of device is only used in health centers, hospitals and clinics, as only doctors and qualified people can use it. As with other devices, before measuring blood pressure, the person must have initial preparation, which is the same for all types of devices.
After resting as indicated and in the correct position, the cuff is placed around the bare arm, approximately 2.5 cm to 5 cm above the elbow. Remembering that the cuff must be well adjusted, but not too tight. Therefore, the doctor must use the stethoscope to find the brachial artery.
Then, he puts on the stethoscope headphones to hear the sounds clearly, and checks that the cuff valve is completely closed.
Next, the device’s inflation pump is used to inflate the cuff, thus increasing the pressure on the arm. This procedure should continue until the pressure gauge reaches approximately 30 mmHg above the point where the heartbeat cannot be felt in the brachial artery. Then, the valve is slowly opened to release the air little by little. Finally, the reading should be noted and the cuff removed from the arm.
Common Mistakes When Checking Blood Pressure at Home
- Poor body position;
- Do not empty your bladder;
- Inadequately positioned arm;
- Poorly adjusted cuff;
- Movements during measurement;
- Do not rest before measuring;
- Poor calibration of the device;
- Measure blood pressure immediately after eating, drinking or exercising.
Always pay attention to medical recommendations for the frequency of measurements, use the type of device appropriate for your situation and follow the instructions for correct preparation and execution.
Remember, these measurements can be a simple but significant step toward keeping your health on track. If you have questions or concerns about your blood pressure, consult your trusted doctor.
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