- The patient should not have consumed alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine or exercised for 30 minutes prior to the examination.
- It is best to complete a thorough history to allow the patient to relax and the effect of any of the above to resolve.
- Avoid cuff over-inflation and subsequent patient discomfort.
- Do not allow the cuff to rub against the stethoscope because the extraneous noise can complicate the auscultatory process.
- Common mistakes include reading the manometer value without hearing the Korotkoff sounds, taking BP through clothing, occluding the artery with restrictive clothing, improper cuff sizing, holding the patient's arm in an incorrect position, and inappropriate environmental conditions.