How to Take Someone’s Blood Pressure to Check For Hypertension
Blood pressure should be taken in such a way as to ensure that you do not come up with the wrong result, especially when you are suspecting that the individual may be having hypertension. When the right procedure is followed you are sure to avoid errors that could prove expensive in the long run.
What should you do before taken the blood pressure?1. Ensure the individual is not over excited. If he/she is excited the secretion of adrenaline increases and this would give you a wrong result.2. Be sure the individual has not just finished a rigorous exercise. This would increase the heart rate and alter the result as well.3. Ensure the person has also not just finished eating a heavy meal. This would increase the work load of the heart as it attempts to digest the heavy meal.4. Make sure he/she rests for at least 2-5 minutes after arriving in your clinic before taking the blood pressure.
To find out if someone has hypertension, you need to check his/her blood pressure for the first time and record the result. The individual should then be advised to repeat the check daily (at the same time) or on alternate days for at least one further week to be sure there is a sustained elevation before you could come up with a diagnosis.
How should you check the blood pressure?1. Make the person sit up in a chair or lie down on a bed.2. Squeeze the cuff to expel air if you are using the analog sphygmomanometer.3. Wrap the arm cuff around his/her upper arm, at least half an inch above the elbow joint, with the air tube over the brachial artery.4. Press the ‘start’ button (if you are using the digital sphygmomanometer); and the cuff is inflated automatically. Allow it to deflate on its own and when the measurement value is displayed, you have to take down the reading. Press the ‘stop’ button and return the equipment to a safe place.5. If you are using the analog sphygmomanometer, you have to place the diaphragm of your stethoscope over the brachial artery (after procedure number 3 above) and place the ear tubes over your ears; tighten the knob of the sphygmomanometer and then pump with the inflator.6. Listen to the heart beat as you pump. Take note of the point at which you stopped hearing the sound. Pump a little further before releasing the knob to deflate the cuff.7. Take note of the first heart sound (systolic) as you deflate the cuff; and also the point at which the heart’s sound finally disappears (the diastolic). 8. Remove equipment and record your findings.
The upper sound is referred to as the ‘systolic’ while the lower sound is referred to as the ‘diastolic’ sound. If the reading for an average adult is in the range of 140-159 over 90-99 (140/90 – 159/99), ‘stage 1 hypertension’ is said to exist. But if the reading is above 160/100, ‘stage 2 hypertension’ is said to exist.
Note: Nobody should be termed hypertensive except after the readings have been taken for a period of one or more weeks and they are consistently elevated. You should also cross check using both arms.