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7 common mistakes in BP measurement


Submitted by admin on 24 January 2019

Misreading true blood pressure by even 5 mm Hg has the potential to  mislabel someone as having high blood pressure, resulting in medication  the person doesn’t need. It also can result in the opposite, in which a  patient fails to get necessary medical treatment.

American Heart Association (AHA) highlights 7 common mistakes in BP measurement

▪ Putting the cuff over clothing, rather than a bare arm, can add 10-40 mm Hg to a measurement.

▪ Use correct cuff size.

▪ Having a full bladder can tack on 10-15 mm Hg.

▪ Talking or having a conversation: an additional 10-15 mm Hg.

▪ Failing to support the arm at heart level can add 10 mm Hg.

▪ An unsupported back can increase a measurement by 5-10 mm Hg. That same range applies to feet left dangling from an exam table or high chair.

▪ Crossing legs means an extra 2-8 mm Hg.

(Source: AHA)