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How to Check Blood Pressure Manually at Home?

Hypertension or high blood pressure pose a significant global health burden. In the present era it’s no more a disease of elderly population and has spread its feet widely across our young and productive age group. In this blog you will know “How to check blood pressure manually at home” correctly.

8 Steps to check blood pressure at home

Blood Pressure Definition

Hypertension is a measure of the amount of resistance heart has to face while pumping blood. One might be having high blood pressure, but is not aware of it, because in majority of cases it won’t cause any issues until some complication develop. Hypertension is also an important risk factor for heart disease.

Its recommended to monitor blood pressure every two to five years in otherwise healthy individuals who are 18 years old or more. Yearly monitoring should be be done for 40 and above population, or younger than 40 if they have risk factors for heart condition like family history of hypertension in close relatives, diabetes etc.

Normal Blood Pressure

Blood pressure statusSystolic mm HgDiastolic mm Hg
NormalLess than 120Less than 80
Elevated120–129Less than 80
Stage 1 high blood pressure (hypertension)130–13980–89
Stage 2 high blood pressure140 or higher90 or higher
Hypertensive crisis (seek immediate medical attention)180 or higher120 or higher

Normal blood pressure is considered anything below 120/80 mm Hg. However, a healthy number may vary from person to person.

So, to check blood pressure manually at home it becomes important that you should know the correct way. Faulty blood pressure measuring techniques are very common and can be a reason of unwanted stress and unnecessary medication.

Here is your step by step guide on How to check blood pressure manually at home;

1. Blood Pressure Monitor Quality

It’s needless to say how important is to use a certified and good quality blood pressure monitor. Branded or certified apparatus ensures a more accurate and reliable reading. Some branded blood pressure monitors are Omron, Panasonic. You can buy these easily on amazon.

You are going to need a stethoscope, a proper sized cuff and a aneroid or mercury sphygmomanometer if you want to check blood pressure by hand or an automated BP apparatus. Ideally if you are not trained, it’s better to use an automated apparatus.

2. Right Sized Cuff

Cuff size can have a sizeable impact on blood pressure readings. Ideally the bladder cuff should cover 80 percent or more of the patient’s arm circumference. Using inappropriate sized cuff can lead to faulty BP reading. Cuff should be a snug fit, should not be too tight or too loose.

Position of the cuff is also very important. The lower border of the cuff should be at least a finger width up from the elbow skin fold.

3. Patient Preparation

It’s important that patient should be at rest for a minimum of 10 minutes before the BP recording is done. Patient should sit upright in a chair with back supported and arm resting on a table at the level of heart and feet placed flat on the floor, crossed legs should be avoided.

This process should be followed in both manual or automated BP recordings. Caffeine intake should be avoided for at least an hour before BP measurement.

4. Locate The Brachial Artery

Localization of brachial pulse is important in order to place the diaphragm of the stethoscope over it. This helps to appreciate the sound of pulsation in clear manner.

Sphygmomanometer - Check Blood Pressure Manually at home
Brachial Artery Location

5. Cuff Inflation and Deflation

Start pumping the rubber bulb gently to inflate the cuff while hearing the pulse sound with stethoscope. American Heart Association (AHA) recommends inflating cuff to at least 30 mm Hg above the point at which the sound of the pulse disappears.

Deflation should always be slow and should not exceed 2-3 mmHg per second. Rate more than this can cause an overestimated diastolic and an underestimated systolic blood pressure.

6. Mark Systolic Reading

When you start deflating at the recommended rate, the first sound you hear marks the systolic blood pressure reading. It is due to sudden rush of blood through the blood vessel when the pressure is released.

7. Mark Diastolic Reading

Continue deflating the cuff at same rate and the point where the sound of pulsation disappears marks the diastolic blood pressure. Accurate appreciation of the these sounds require constant practice.

8. Repetition Of Measurement

AHA recommends to take at least two readings (one in each arm) and both the readings should be taken with a gap of 5 minutes. An average of these two readings should be considered as final blood pressure value.

I hope you have some understanding of how to check blood pressure manually at home and are trying to make this way more convenient and easy to use.

You Might Be Interested In Reading:

  1. 10 Tips To Lower High Blood Pressure
  2. Symptoms of hypertension
  3. How to maintain a healthy weight with healthy snacks?
  4. Heart Palpitations
  5. Heart Disease or Heart Attack

4 thoughts on “How to Check Blood Pressure Manually at Home?”

  1. Very interesting.
    I was also interested speaking about the difficulties quadraplegics have in regulating their blood pressure when they exercise. They need blood pressure tests before they start and after they finish exercise as they don’t notice any changes.

    Thanks for sharing. I am a newbie on Phoebes blog.

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