Blood pressure measurement technique: nurse demonstrates how to check a blood pressure manually at home with a blood pressure cuff kit (sphygmomanometer) and stethoscope.

Your blood pressure reading can be an important measurement of your overall health, especially your cardiovascular health. In this video, I provide a demonstration on taking a blood pressure by first listening to the auscultatory gap. This is an important step because some patients (not all) can have a silent gap that can occur, which cause an inaccurate blood pressure reading.

First, you’ll want to perform hand hygiene and gather your supplies. Next, have the patient sit down with their arm at heart level and their legs uncrossed.

Palpate to find the brachial artery, which is located near the bend of the arm. Once you find the brachial artery, you’ll want to estimate the systolic pressure by inflating the cuff until you can no longer feel the brachial artery.

The point when you no longer feel the brachial artery will be the estimated systolic pressure number. Once you find that number, you’ll deflate the cuff and let the patient rest for 30-60 seconds. Next, you’ll inflate the cuff 30 mmHg higher than the estimated systolic pressure number that you got earlier.

Once you inflate the cuff to the appropriate point, slowly unscrew the bulb to allow it to fall about 2 mmHg per second, and listen closely for the first sound you hear, which will be your systolic number.

Continue to let the needle fall until you hear the last sound of the pulse, which will be your diastolic number.

Once you have your reading, you can deflate the cuff, remove it, and wipe it off. Then you will document the blood pressure reading.


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