Steps for How to Take Blood Pressure Manually

If you’re interested in learning how to take blood pressure manually, in order to monitor your BP at home, it’s actually pretty simple once you become familiar with the steps. Some factors that can cause the blood pressure to rise include caffeine, stress, anxiety, smoking, cold weather, exercise and certain medications. When you learn how to take blood pressure manually, you’ll want to avoid these factors in order to get a true reading.

How to Take Blood Pressure Manually: Easy to Follow Steps

Usually, a doctor will request that you take your BP at the same time every day. You may need to take your BP a few times a day if it fluctuates. You’ll need to take the BP in a quiet environment, where you can hear easily. If you’re wearing a thin sleeved shirt, there’s no reason to roll it up. If you’re wearing a sweater you’ll need to remove it or roll up the sleeve. Your arm should be resting at heart level, on a table with the palm up.

Next, you’ll need to locate the pulse. You can do this by using your index finger and middle finger and pressing lightly on the inside of the bend in your elbow. If you have trouble locating your pulse simply place the stethoscope in this area.

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Next, you’ll need to place the BP cuff on your upper arm. Be sure to keep the head of the stethoscope over the artery. Most cuffs have an arrow printed on them, which shows you where to place the head of the stethoscope. You’ll want the lower portion of the cuff to rest one inch above the bend in the elbow. Do not thread the cuff too tightly because this can cause a difference in your blood pressure reading.

Hold the bulb in one hand and the pressure gauge in the other. Shut the airflow valve tightly. Start inflating the cuff by quickly pumping the bulb.  Keep your eye on the gauge and inflate the cuff until it reaches thirty points above your usual systolic reading. During this time you won’t be able to hear your pulse. Keep watching the gauge and slowly release the cuff pressure by opening the valve.

Listen for the first beat of your pulse. Whatever number it lands on will be the systolic number of your blood pressure. Keep watching the gauge as you slowly deflate the cuff and listen for the last beat. This will be the diastolic number of your blood pressure.

Why do I have to Take my Blood Pressure so Often?

It will take some practice to learn the correct way to take blood pressure manually, and some skill when it comes to opening the valve slow enough to get an accurate reading. Your doctor can ask you to take your BP manually for a number of reasons and your readings will help your doctor to determine if your current treatment is effective in managing your blood pressure of if adjustments need to be made.

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