With high blood pressure putting you at at risk of many life-threatening conditions, including heart attacks and strokes, it is vitally important that you have regular blood pressure tests. If you are over 40, you should be checked at least every five years. The tests could save your life, so don’t neglect them. Check on this website this website for your answers.
However, it is also vital to ensure that an accurate measure of your blood pressure is taken. You may be surprised to know that errors are frequent and are often due to the wrong cuff size. Variations from such simple, avoidable errors may cause your blood pressure reading to deviate significantly.
If you do have high blood pressure, it is very important that the blood pressure cuff is not too large. You will surely be familiar with the blood pressure cuff from visits to your physician. This is the inflatable bladder that is wrapped around your arm and held in place by Velcro. You will no doubt be familiar with watching it gradually inflate and then wondering for how long it is gong to squeeze your arm!
This compression is necessary to temporarily stop blood flowing through you arteries and then to measure the blood being pushed through as the pressure is gradually reduced. But if the blood pressure cuff is too large, then your blood pressure reading could be artificially low. This happens because the cuff overlaps and covers more than 100 % of your arm. It actually inflates on itself, cutting of the supply of blood too easily and resulting in the lower reading. And if your reading is too low then you are in danger of missing the fact that your blood pressure is actually too high!
How Do I Ensure That the Blood Pressure Cuff Is Not Too Large?
If you are attending the clinic for your blood pressure test it is important that it can be relied upon to have the correct protocols in place, as well as having staff who are adequately trained, to ensure that the size of blood pressure cuff is not neglected and therefore not too large for your arm size. Your upper arm should be measured around its circumference, at the midway point between your elbow and your shoulder. In fact you can do this yourself at home if you wish and then inform your clinician or ask him what the cuff’s range is. Your arm size should be in the middle 75% of the blood pressure cuff’s range, if is not to be too large. The range should be printed on the cuff.
This is obviously vitally important if you are going to purchase your own blood pressure monitor. You don’t want to be getting a constantly incorrect reading – it could have fatal consequences. Be aware and be vigilant, there’s no excuse for errors – do not not use a blood pressure cuff that is too large!