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Measuring blood pressure accurately

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There are many kinds of blood pressure (BP) monitors available. The sphygmomanometer is the device used by your doctor to take your BP reading. It includes an arm cuff, a squeeze bulb to inflate the cuff, a stethoscope, and a gauge to measure the BP or a unit to display the BP reading.

The cuff is inflated around the upper arm and the stethoscope placed on the skin over an artery. The inflating of the cuff temporarily stops flow of blood in the artery. This is when the BP measurement is taken, which is displayed on a circular dial with a needle. The reading on the gauge when blood flow is first heard is the systolic BP, whereas the reading when blood flow can no longer be heard is the diastolic BP.

When choosing a BP monitor for home use, there are several types you can choose from7,8: