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Measuring Blood Pressure
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Tests to be performed - Blood pressure measurements (oscillometric method)

Equipment - Stethoscope and appropriately sized blood pressure cuff

Expected findings - Systolic blood pressure <120 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure <80 mmHg

Testing procedures
  1. Place the patient in a quiet, well lit, warm, and comfortable room.
  2. Have the patient remove all clothing that covers the location of the cuff placement. The sleeve should not be rolled up because this can be restrictive or have a tourniquet effect on the artery.
  3. Seat the patient with his or her legs uncrossed, feet on the floor, and back and upper arm supported.
  4. Place the arm being measured at the level of the heart or mid-point of the sternum.
  5. Palpate the brachial artery in the antecubital fossa.
  6. Place the middle of the bladder (commonly marked on the cuff) at this location.
  7. Place the lower end of the cuff 2-3 cm above the antecubital fossa to allow room for the stethoscope.
  8. Place the bell of the stethoscope over the brachial artery with a good seal using light pressure.
  9. Semi-rapidly inflate the cuff 30 mmHg greater than the estimated systolic value.
  10. Deflate the cuff at 2-3 mmHg per second until pulsatile blood flow occurs.
  11. Identify when the sounds first appear with two consecutive beats, and record this value as the systolic pressure.
  12. Continue to lower the pressure at a rate of 2-3 mmHg per second until the sounds are muffled and disappear, and record this value as the diastolic pressure.
  13. Confirm diastolic pressure by deflating the cuff for another 10-20 mmHg.
  14. Deflate the cuff completely, wait 2 or more minutes, and repeat this procedure.
  15. Take additional readings if the first two readings differ by more than 5mmHg, and document your findings.
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Section: Measuring Blood Pressure
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