How To Use a BP Machine?
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Updated: Aug 9, 2021, 16:09 IST
A Blood Pressure (BP) machine is useful in the early detection of several health problems. It can be stored and used conveniently, making it one of the most useful medical equipment. Read the guide below to know how to use a BP machine at home.
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Many people choose to read and record their blood pressure levels at home before paying a visit to the doctor. Using a BP machine at home is safe, convenient, accurate and time-saving. It lets you detect a health condition in an early stage for a proper diagnosis and an all-around cure. Blood Pressure is the pressure that your blood generates against the arteries of the body. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to other parts of the body.
What Types of BP Machine Are Available and How To Choose the Right BP Machine?
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There are two types of BP machines available that can be used at home. One is the manual BP machine or the aneroid monitor, the other is a digital machine that digitally records your blood pressure. Focus on the following factors before purchasing one.
Size of the BP Machine:
The size of the BP machine here refers to the size of the cuff. A cuff is an inflatable rubber bladder that is fastened to the arm during the blood pressure reading procedure. It is important to get the correct size since this bladder measures blood pressure. A cuff that is too big or small may lead to faulty readings. Get your BP machine once checked with your doctor for the correct size and requirements.
Price of the BP Machine:
Prices of the BP machine vary a lot. Do not plan to spend a fortune on the BP machine, as it could be that the most expensive machine is not the most accurate machine.
Display of the BP Machine:
Test the display. Look for all the vital information and the clarity of the screen if you plan to buy a digital machine. Also, look at how conveniently you can read the pressure markings in a manual machine
Sound of the BP Machine:
You must be able to hear the machine loudly and clearly once it has taken the BP reading. Do check the sound as well.
Best Digital BP Monitors for Convenience At Home
How To Get Ready For BP Reading at Home?
These are certain things that you need to take care of before taking a blood pressure reading at home. It is important for you to follow these steps for the most accurate reading possible.
Wait for 30 minutes if you have eaten or used caffeine, alcohol tobacco or products based on these.
Go to the bathroom and empty your bladder fully.
Rest for 5-6 minutes without talking at all
Sit in a comfortable, legs uncrossed position with a little support for your back
Elevate your hand to the level of your heart and place it on a desk or raised platform
Place and tighten the cuff around your bare arm. Make sure that once you tighten the cuff there is at least a pace of one finger between the inner walls of the cuff and your arm
Make sure the cuff is in the right place. There should be a gap of 1 inch between the upper crease of the elbow and the cuff
How To Use Aneroid (Manual) BP Machine?
Place the earpiece of the stethoscope in your ears
Place the stethoscope disc on the inside of the elbow
Squeeze the rubber bulb to inflate the cuff
Open the valve to let some air out
Listen to the first heartbeat
Continue to deflate the cuff
Write down the measurement
Step 1: Place the earpiece of the stethoscope in your ears
Place the earpieces in such a way that they face outwards towards the eyes. These earpieces will let you listen to your heartbeat once the cuff is inflated.
Rossmax GB102 Aneroid Blood Pressure Monitor
Use this manual BP monitor to measure your BP and listen to your heartbeat simultaneously. This is the best fit for those who prefer manual BP machines. It comes with thick insulation for accurate readings. It comes with a soft, washable, cotton cover and can be easily maintained at home.
Get it here:
Step 2: Place the stethoscope disc on the inside of the elbow
On the inside of your elbow place the disk. Do not hold it too firmly and do not exert too much pressure on the disk
Step 3: Squeeze the rubber bulb to inflate the cuff
Now quickly inflate the cuff by continuously squeezing the rubber bulb. Too slow or too fast squeezing can lead to faulty readings. Keep squeezing the bulb till the time meter reaches a reading 30 or 40 points higher than your last systolic reading
Step 4: Open the valve to let some air out
Open the valve slowly to let the air out. Deflate the cuff by 2-3 millimetres every second. Do not quickly deflate the cuff, it will lead to fault reading again.
Step 5: Listen to the first heartbeat
As you start deflating the cuff, you would get to hear the first heartbeat. When you hear the first heartbeat, you must check the reading. This reading would be your systolic pressure. Refer to the general guidelines below to know what systolic pressure means.
Vandelay Blood Pressure Monitor
A fully automatic blood pressure monitor that has a multi-colour display for proper reading. A wide cuff band allows it to be used by every family member. You can recall up to 200 recordings with time and date stamps for 2 users. A large LED screen lets you record an accurate reading of the BP.
Get it here:
Step 6: Continue to deflate the cuff
Continue deflating the heartbeat, once completely deflated check the reading on the dial. At some point, you’d hear the last heartbeat in the earpieces. This number is your diastolic pressure. Refer to the general guidelines below to know what diastolic pressure means.
Get more manual BP monitors here:
How To Use a Digital BP Machine?
Turn the power on the digital monitor
Wait for the cuff to inflate automatically
The cuff will automatically deflate after taking the reading
Look at the display screen for the readings
Record the readings and create a logbook
If you want to repeat the reading, wait for 3-4 minutes
Step 1: Turn the power on the digital monitor
Turn on the digital monitor by pressing the power on button on the device.
Step 2: Wait for the cuff to inflate automatically
On all digital BP machines, the cuff automatically inflates. So wait for the cuff to inflate and take the readings.
Dr Trust Smart Dual Talking Automatic Digital Blood Pressure
This smart BP machine can read out the recordings in English and Hindi for the user’s convenience. Along with BP, it also measures the pulse rate of the user. It can store up to 120 readings of 2 users and can be recalled at any time. The cuff is wide enough for all age groups and most arm sizes.
Get It here
Step 3: The cuff will automatically deflate after taking the reading
Once the machine has taken the readings, the cuff will automatically deflate. All you need to do is check how the cuff is placed and tightened.
Omron HEM 7120 Fully Automatic Digital Blood Pressure Monitor
The Omron BP Monitor is one of the most accurate BP machines with a one-touch operation. It uses intelligent settings to measure the inflation rate for the user’s convenience. It can also detect irregular heartbeats and slight movements while reading the BP.
Get it here:
Step 4: Look at the display screen for the readings
Check for systolic measures and diastolic measures. These measures tell you the current blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or lower.
Systolic Reading (first number)
- It is the reading of the highest pressure when your heart is pumping blood.
Diastolic Reading (second number)-
This is the reading of the pressure in your arteries when the heart is at rest.
Get more digital BP monitors here:
Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or lower. Your doctor may advise you to take multiple readings in a day to understand the fluctuations in blood pressure throughout the day. This helps in the better diagnosis of health conditions. Maintain a log with time, date and BP machine readings for your doctor to investigate.
What should I make of my BP readings?
Less than 120 or 120
Less than 80 or 80
High blood pressure I
High Blood Pressure II
160 or above
100 or above
Carry the BP recordings log with you if you are paying a visit to the doctor. If you are recording high readings for several days, seek a doctor’s appointment and disclose all medical history including medicines taken in the last few days for the doctor’s assessment.
Can you feel high blood pressure?
At times you may come across your heart pounding, lightheadedness or dizziness if you have high blood pressure. It is recommended to visit a doctor if you come across these symptoms.
How should I ensure that my BP machine is accurate?
Get your machine checked once a year by the doctor. If you feel that the machine is not performing to its optimum level then check the connecting pipe for air leaks. If you are still not satisfied with the performance, then you can purchase a new machine.
What should be the time gap between two BP recordings?
Between two BP recordings, spare time of 3-5 minutes and then do the second reading. This time period will allow the machine to reset and provide accurate results.
Which is better arm blood pressure reading or wrist blood pressure reading?
You can also record the BP recording from your wrist. However, they are not accurate and show elevated levels than the normal levels. The best practice is to use to record a BP reading from the arm.
DISCLAIMER: The Times of India's journalists were not involved in the production of this article.
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