|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
- Place the patient in a quiet, well lit, warm, and comfortable room.
- 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.
- Seat the patient with his or her legs uncrossed, feet on the floor, and back and upper arm supported.
- Place the arm being measured at the level of the heart or mid-point of the sternum.
- Palpate the brachial artery in the antecubital fossa.
- Place the middle of the bladder (commonly marked on the cuff) at this location.
- Place the lower end of the cuff 2-3 cm above the antecubital fossa to allow room for the stethoscope.
- Place the bell of the stethoscope over the brachial artery with a good seal using light pressure.
- Semi-rapidly inflate the cuff 30 mmHg greater than the estimated systolic value.
- Deflate the cuff at 2-3 mmHg per second until pulsatile blood flow occurs.
- Identify when the sounds first appear with two consecutive beats, and record this value as the systolic pressure.
- 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.
- Confirm diastolic pressure by deflating the cuff for another 10-20 mmHg.
- Deflate the cuff completely, wait 2 or more minutes, and repeat this procedure.
- Take additional readings if the first two readings differ by more than 5mmHg, and document your findings.