Hi there! This is how to take a manual blood pressure SUPER EASILY. Let’s start with the parts of the sphygmomanometer.
The Sphygmomanometer consists of an inflatable cuff, a measuring gauge, an inflation bulb and valve. Easy peasy!
Follow these next steps (in order) to get the best results when measuring a patient’s blood pressure. If you need a visual, watch the video of me at the end taking a manual blood pressure using a Sphygmomanometer.
1. Have the Patient sit or lay down
The blood pressure should be measured during vital signs. The blood pressure cuff should never be placed over clothing. It will produce an inaccurate reading.
2. Properly position the patient.
The patient should be seated comfortably, with the legs uncrossed. The artery used to measure the blood pressure should be close to the level of the heart, with the arm supported.
3. Select the appropriate cuff size!
A cuff should be selected that’s able to completely encircle the patient’s upper arm with 75% of the cuff. If it takes more than 80% of the cuff to encircle the upper arm, the cuff is too small for the patient and will give a reading that’s higher than accurate. If it takes less than 75% of the cuff to encircle the upper arm, the cuff is too large, and will give a manual blood pressure reading that’s lower than accurate.
4. Palpate the brachial artery.
With the arm extended, feel for the pulsation of the brachial artery. In most people, the pulse can be felt above the antecubital fossa, where the artery comes closest to the skin.
The lower margin of the cuff should be positioned 1 inch above the point where you found the pulse. Make it tight!
6. Use the “pulse” to find the manual blood pressure.
While palpating the radial pulse, inflate the cuff until the “pulse” areas, this is your systolic pressure. Then release it when the “pulse” disappears. This is your diastolic pressure. This is your palpated systolic & diastolic manual blood pressure.
7. Inflate the cuff.
You should inflate the cuff to 30 mmHg ABOVE the highest possible systolic pressure.
8. Slowly release the manual pressure while looking straight-on at the sphygmomanometer.
Looking at the face of the dial to read where to manual blood pressure reading is and record it accurately! Watch this video below to help with the process!