Blood Pressure Monitor: How To Use It?

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Joe Dispenza
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The blood pressure monitor is the instrument used - both in the medical field and in the home sector - for determine blood pressure of an individual.


The blood pressure monitor allows you to get information about your blood pressure either systolic (also known as pressure maxim) That diastolic (better known as pressure minima).


The different types of pressure gauges currently available on the market can be divided, according to their operation, into: manual and analog gauges and electronic and automatic gauges. The first group includes all pressure gauges whose operation is manual and requires a certain amount of knowledge on the part of the operator who performs the pressure determination; the second group, on the other hand, includes electronic pressure gauges which detect blood pressure values ​​in a fully automated manner.


Choosing to buy one type of meter rather than another depends on many factors, such as ease of use, knowledge of the operator who will perform the measurements and the needs of each individual. Of course, the cost can also greatly affect the choice of blood pressure monitor to buy.

What is that

What is the Blood Pressure Monitor?

The blood pressure monitor is the tool thanks to which it is possible determine an individual's arterial blood pressure. In detail, thanks to the blood pressure monitor it is possible to detect both blood pressure maxim (systolic pressure) That minima (pressure diastolic).


Normally, the blood pressure monitor provides pressure values ​​in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) which, compared with the range of values ​​considered normal, can provide valuable information about the health of the individual. Not surprisingly, arterial blood pressure is regarded as a parametrio vitale extremely important.

Why Use It

Why Use the Blood Pressure Monitor?

As mentioned, blood pressure is an extremely important vital parameter and its measurement is essential especially in subjects at risk of developing, or who have already developed, various types of pathologies (cardiovascular but not only).


In fact, alterations in blood pressure values ​​- both in excess and in defect - can determine a potential risk for the patient's life, both because they could indicate the presence of underlying pathological conditions not yet diagnosed, and because they could lead to the onset of serious consequences and complications (just think, for example, of the state of hypertension that can lead to the appearance of serious complications, such as heart attack or heart failure).

For this reason, constant monitoring of blood pressure - also and above all at home - can be considered as a useful tool to prevent or in any case identify dangerous conditions for the patient.


Categories

How many and what types of blood pressure monitors are there?

On the market it is possible to find different models of blood pressure monitors whose characteristics may vary depending on the manufacturer. In any case, to try to clarify it, it is possible to divide the different instruments according to their mode of operation. In this regard, it is possible to distinguish manual blood pressure gauges e electronic and automatic blood pressure gauges. The main features will be briefly described below.


Manual Blood Pressure Monitor

As you can guess from its name, the pressure gauge in question is characterized by a completely manual operation. More correctly known as sphygmomanometers manuals, the tools of this type still in use today are mercury sphygmomanometer and that aneroide.

Mercury Pressure Meter

Il pressure gauge (sphygmomanometer) to mercury it was developed by the local doctor Scipione Riva-Rocci and is considered the progenitor of manual sphygmomanometers for measuring blood pressure.

Although its use is not recommended due to the toxicity and the difficulty of disposing of the heavy metal it contains, the mercury blood pressure monitor is still used today and is considered by many to be the same. most accurate tool for non-invasive blood pressure measurement.


In any case, the sphygmomanometer in question consists of:

  • Un sleeve of canvas covering a air chamber;
  • A manual pump - equipped with valve - connected to the above coupling by a rubber tube;
  • A mercury column it's a graduated scale on which the pressure values ​​expressed in millimeters are reported (to be clear, the graduated scale and the mercury column are completely similar to those present in mercury thermometers used for measuring body temperature).

Aneroid Blood Pressure Monitor

Lo sphygmomanometer aneroids it is a pressure gauge in which the mercury column described above is not present. In fact, this tool consists of:

  • Un sleeve consisting of one air chamber;
  • A manual pump equipped with a valve and connected with a rubber tube to the sleeve;
  • Un clock manometer with movable needle on which there is a graduated scale in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

Electronic Pressure Gauge

The electronic blood pressure monitor is an instrument capable of determining blood pressure values ​​in a fully automated manner. All the person carrying out the measurement has to do is position and fasten the sleeve and press the appropriate button that allows the instrument to start.

Normally, electronic blood pressure monitors consist of:

  • Un sleeve consisting of one air chamber;
  • Un electronic appliance - connected with a rubber tube to the sleeve - which performs multiple functions, such as:
    • Inflation and deflation of the cuff;
    • Data collection through a special sensor;
    • Data processing;
    • Display of blood pressure values ​​on the digital display it is equipped with.

In addition, virtually all models of electronic blood pressure monitor detect and provide information on the heart rate of the individual.

Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

The wrist blood pressure monitor can be considered as a variant of the electronic blood pressure monitor equipped with an anchor sleeve easier to use. The wrist monitor, in fact, must be connected directly to the wrist at which blood pressure will be determined. However, although more comfortable and practical to use, the measurement made with this type of instrument is susceptible to numerous errors mainly related to the movements and position of the wrist during the determination. For this reason, it is generally advisable to prefer upper arm blood pressure monitors.

Care and Maintenance

Blood Pressure Monitor Care and Maintenance

To ensure correct blood pressure reading, your blood pressure monitor needs one regular maintenance. Regardless of whether the tool is manual or electronic, it is necessary to perform periodic checks in order to verify that the measurements taken are still accurate. If not, you will need to intervene with one recalibration. This operation must be carried out by specialized personnel, therefore, it is advisable to contact the manufacturer or the retailer where the pressure gauge was purchased directly.

As for cleaning, on the other hand, in some models it is possible to wash the sleeve with water and delicate detergents; while the other parts of the instrument should be cleaned with a dry cloth. In any case, it is always advisable to follow what is written on the packaging or in the user manual of the product purchased.

In any case, remember that the blood pressure monitor should be kept inside its case, in a safe place where there is no risk of knocks or falls.

Cost

How Much Does a Blood Pressure Monitor Cost?

Among the main factors that affect the final price of a blood pressure monitor we find the type of instrument you want to buy (manual or electronic), the brand and firm producer. Furthermore, in the case of electronic blood pressure gauges, the price may also vary depending on the additional functions which the instrument can be equipped with (for example, clock, calendar, memory function, alarm function, possibility of interfacing with applications and smartphones, etc.).

In any case, for a manual blood pressure monitor the cost can vary, indicatively, from about 20 to 80 euros; while for an electronic blood pressure monitor the price can range from 20 euros for the simpler models, up to over 100 euros for the more complex models with multiple functions.

Which one to choose

How to choose the most suitable blood pressure monitor for your needs?

The blood pressure monitor is a device that can be purchased anywhere, from shops specializing in the sale of health items, to pharmacies up to the numerous online stores. The models available are many, more or less simple to use and more or less rich in additional functions. Finding the right blood pressure monitor for your needs may therefore prove to be quite difficult.

In any case, when choosing the most suitable blood pressure monitor for your needs it is necessary to take into account:

  • Simplicity e practicality of use;
  • Precision e reliability in carrying out the measurement (better to rely on products from specialized firms);
  • Knowledge required for the use of the instrument (a mercury or aneroid blood pressure monitor requires knowledge of the manual measurement technique, as well as a certain degree of practice);
  • Price (Generally, it is advisable to be wary of blood pressure monitors that have below average prices).

In the presence of strong indecision, it may be useful to ask your doctor or retailer for advice, specifying your needs and possibly the reason why it is necessary to carry out a constant and regular check of your blood pressure (presence of particular pathologies; need to keep a track of their blood pressure values, as can happen, for example, in the event that it is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of any pharmacological therapies; etc.).

Manual or Electronic Blood Pressure Monitor?

The decision to buy a manual blood pressure monitor rather than an electronic one depends substantially on the knowledge and skills of the person taking the measurements. The use of a manual blood pressure gauge, in fact, it is not immediate and requires - in order to avoid errors and guarantee a reliable determination of blood pressure values ​​- a certain amount degree of dexterity, knowledge of the tool and ability to perform brachial artery auscultation. For this reason - despite the high accuracy of manual gauges - for home blood pressure measurement by inexperienced individuals, it is usual to recommend the purchase of automatic electronic meters. They, in fact, are extremely simple and intuitive to be used and require no special knowledge, other than the correct positioning of the sleeve and the adoption of some simple precautions in order to avoid incorrect or inaccurate measurements.

Useful Tips

Useful Tips for Measuring Blood Pressure at Home

We end with some tips that may be useful for those who use a blood pressure monitor at home. In fact, when the blood pressure is detected by the doctor or in any case in a clinical or hospital setting, the healthcare staff knows exactly how and when to take the measurement without making any kind of errors. When blood pressure is measured at home, however, the person does not necessarily have the necessary knowledge to make a correct determination.

It is true that the use of an electronic meter allows to avoid various operator errors, however, it is still necessary to follow some small precautions. In detail, it is very important:

  • Measure the blood pressure in a sitting position, resting the forearm on a flat surface (such as a table), in such a way as to have the arm positioned at the same height as the heart. The same applies to the use of the wrist blood pressure monitor: the wrist must be at the same height as the heart in order to avoid errors due to the hydrostatic differential pressure between the arm and the heart.
  • Measure your blood pressure preferably every day at same time.
  • Do not measure your blood pressure after running, walking, doing sports or particularly strenuous activities (unless specifically indicated by your doctor), but wait for some time to allow the body to return to normal conditions.
  • Make more than one measurement and, if the values ​​differ from each other, perform a mathematical average.
  • In case the meter is for the arm, use a sleeve of the suitable size to the circumference of your arm (on the market there are different sleeves that cover different ranges of circumference).

In any case, regardless of the type of pressure gauge used, for more detailed information about the precautions to follow to determine your blood pressure, we recommend reading the dedicated article: How do you measure your pressure?

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