BP Basics

How To Measure Blood Pressure With Sphygmomanometer

Blood pressure measurement through the sphygmomanometer is one of the most common ways of monitoring blood pressure. It requires a cuff, a bulb to inflate cuff, a valve to control pressure and a stethoscope to listen to the korotkoff sound. There are two types of sphygmomanometers.

a) Digital:- It is very easy to use, gives accurate reading and is applicable to all sort of patients.

b) Manometric:- Although it is old fashioned, it is very precised. Now, in some places, some devices that use mercury have been banned but aneroid type is still in use.

While measuring blood pressure using this device you have to wrap the cuff around your upper arm or your doctor you will do the same for you. Remember your cuff should be placed around the upper arm at roughly the same vertical height as your heart. Thereafter you have to inflate the cuff by squeezing the rubber bulb. When the cuff is inflated well and truly as per the requirement then you need to release the pressure of the cuff very slowly while listening through the stethoscope.

With the release of the pressure your blood will start to pulse in your artery making a whooshing sound. The pressure at which you hear the sound for the first time is called the systolic pressure. The pressure at which you hear the last sound is known as the diastolic pressure.

Your blood pressure is basically measured in millimeters of mercury. Now after getting the measurement, you will have to decide whether it is normal or not. For this, I tell you, 120/80 mmHg is considered to be normal in adults. But, be mindful of the fact that normal blood pressure varies from person to person depending upon a variety of factors.

This is how sphygmomanometer gives your blood pressure reading using a cuff, valve, bulb and stethoscope.