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Measuring blood pressure is a must not only for people who have problems with circulation. How do you measure blood pressure correctly? What are the most common errors when measuring pressure? How important are the numbers on the blood pressure monitor screen for our he alth? What else besides telling you if the pressure is correct, too low or too high can be read from them?

Taking your blood pressureis a very simple operation, as long as you knowhow to measure your blood pressure correctly.To get a result pressure measurementwas correct, it is necessary to follow a few basic rules. Before use, it is also worth reading the instruction manual carefully, where you will find all the information on how to avoid mistakes.

Measuring blood pressure - preparation for blood pressure measurement

  • Do not measure your blood pressure immediately after a large meal. It's best to wait an hour

Additionally, it is worth taking into account other factors influencing the accuracy of the measurement. The examined person should not feel any physical fatigue or stress.

  • you cannot drink coffee and smoke for at least 30 minutes before taking the pressure
  • before the measurement, it is recommended to rest for a few minutes in a sitting position with supported back, in a quiet room
  • blood pressure should be measured at normal body temperature. If the body is cold or hot, it is worth waiting for a while
  • measurement should be done in the left hand; if the doctor detects poor circulation in the left hand, the cuff can be fastened around the right wrist
  • the patient should be in a sitting position, with the back supported, the upper limb should be bare, without pressing clothes, jewelery, a watch, loosely supported with the elbow bend at the 4th intercostal level. The cuff should be level with the heart, regardless of the patient's body position

Home blood pressure measurement - rules

Whether or not you are able to maintain normal blood pressure is best checked by measuring your blood pressure yourself.

1) We recommend the use of fully automatic, arm cuff validated appliances.

2) Must be done after 2measurements at several-minute intervals, in the morning and in the evening, at fixed times, at regular intervals (e.g. 6.00-18.00, 7.00-19.00 etc.). Measurements should be taken immediately before taking medication and in the morning before eating.

3) Before putting on the upper arm blood pressure monitor, press the artery of your hand with two fingers about 2.5 cm above the elbow on the inside of your arm to find where your heart rate is strongest. The upper arm blood pressure cuff should be approximately 1.5 cm from the elbow. Always wear the wrist blood pressure monitor with the palm facing upwards and the wrist blood pressure cuff approximately 1.5 cm from your hand.

4) Press the Velcro cuffs together tightly. The cuff of both the wrist and upper arm blood pressure monitor should be level with the heart during the measurement.

5) Before measuring, turn your hand up, sit upright on a chair, take 5-6 deep breaths and relax your whole body.

6) If the cuff is not level with your heart or you find it difficult to keep your arm still, you can use a soft object such as a rolled up towel to support your arm. Do not lean back, talk or move your hand during the measurement.

7) Wait about 5 minutes before the next measurement.

What is the importance of the numbers on the blood pressure monitor screen for our he alth?

Blood pressure is the force with which the blood presses against the walls of the largest arteries as the heart contracts and then relaxes. During the measurement, a third value is also revealed - the pulse, i.e. the number of heart beats per minute. Its level fluctuates over longer and shorter periods. Long-term changes may be related to age or he alth condition, medium-term changes may depend on the time of day and night, activity, mental state, consumed stimulants, and short-term changes may depend on the heart cycle.

Blood pressure acts on the walls of arteries as blood flows through them. Measured when the heart contracts and pushes blood out of it, it is called systolic pressure (highest value), and when the heart relaxes and blood flows back into it, it is diastolic pressure (lowest value).

Systolic pressure is the force with which blood begins to circulate through the vessels as a result of the contraction of the heart muscle. The ideal norm for systolic blood pressure is 120. If it regularly exceeds 140, we have hypertension. If it fluctuates between 120 and 140, we are at risk of it. This is a reason totake regular measurements.

Diastolic pressure is the force the blood pressures against the arteries when the heart is at rest, that is, between its beats. The correct value is 80. If it gets to 90 too often, hypertension may be suspected. The difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure is called blood pressure amplitude or pulse pressure. The correct one should be between 30 and 50 mmHg. High heart rate values ​​(greater than 55 mmHg) in people over the age of 65 are considered a risk factor for heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.

When taking blood pressure, you also measure your pulse, the number of times your heart beats per minute, also called resting heart rate (HR). We do not all have the same heart rate, but the optimal value is 60-70 beats per minute. The speed at which the heart muscle contracts depends on its tiny part, which is the sinus node. For many years the value of heart rate has been underestimated. The focus was on the amount of blood pressure. Meanwhile, it turns out that the pulse is of great importance not only for the quality and length of our life, but also for how we will - if this happens - suffer from heart disease. People with an accelerated heart rate have a much harder time, for example, a heart attack, and more often die of it compared to people whose heart is working slower.

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The method of measuring blood pressure and the type of apparatus used for testing are also extremely important. If the measurement is made with a device with a shoulder cuff, and the pressure tester presses the brachial artery too much with the handpiece, the diastolic pressure will be lower than the actual pressure.

With automatic devices, only the systolic pressure is measured, and the diastolic pressure is calculated according to a special formula and therefore the measurement is not always reliable. The measurement will also be inaccurate in people with arrhythmias and when the batteries in the camera are exhausted. Regardless of the reason for the existence of significant differences between systolic and diastolic pressure, each such situation requires basic laboratory tests and an ECG, which may be the basis for changing the method of treating arterial hypertension.

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