12 May 2007
Blood pressure should be measured in a standard manner and the equipment used must meet certification criteria.
The following techniques are recommended :
- The patient should be seated on a chair with their backs supported and their arms bared and supported at heart level. They should not smoke or ingest caffeine during the 30 minutes preceding the measurement.
- The patient should rest for 5 minutes before blood pressure is taken. An appropriate cuff should be used. The bladder within the cuff should encircle at least 80 percent of the arm.
- Measurements should be taken with a mercury sphygmomanometer. A recently calibrated aneroid manometer or a validated electronic device can be used. Finger monitors are not acceptable. Blood pressure devices used for home measurement should be checked periodically by comparing readings with simultaneous readings taken with a mercury device.
- Both the systolic (SBP)and diastolic (DBP)blood pressure is recorded. The first appearance of sound is taken as SBP and the disappearance of sound is the DBP.