Home Blood Pressure Test
How It Is Done continued...
Take your new monitor to your doctor's office to make sure it is working
right. Have your health professional take your blood pressure and then compare
that result with your own device. Ask your health professional to watch you use
your monitor to make sure that you are using it correctly. It is a good idea to
have your monitor checked every year.
Your blood pressure in your right arm may
be higher or lower than the blood pressure in your left arm. For this reason,
try to use the same arm for every reading. Blood pressure readings also rise
and fall at different times during the day. They are usually highest in the
morning and lowest in the evening. Ask your doctor if you should take your
blood pressure at the same time of day each time you take it, or if you should
take your blood pressure at different times of the day.
instructions for using blood pressure monitors vary depending upon the type of
blood pressure monitor you choose. Here are some general guidelines:
- Take your blood pressure while you feel
comfortable and relaxed. Sit quietly for at least 5 minutes with both feet on
the floor. Try not to move or talk while you are measuring your blood
- Sit with your arm slightly bent and resting comfortably
on a table so that your upper arm is on the same level as your heart.
- Place the blood pressure cuff on the skin of your upper arm. You
may have to roll up your sleeve, remove your arm from the sleeve, or take your
Manual blood pressure monitors
Sit with your arm slightly bent and resting comfortably on a table so
that your upper arm is on the same level as your heart. Expose your upper arm
by rolling up your sleeve but not so tightly as to constrict blood flow. If you
are not able to roll up your sleeve, remove your arm from the sleeve or take
off your shirt. Wrap the blood pressure cuff snugly around your upper arm so
that the lower edge of the cuff is about
1 in. (2.5 cm) above the bend
of your elbow. A large artery (called the brachial artery) is located slightly
above the inside of your elbow. You can check its location by feeling for a
pulse in the artery with the fingers of your other hand.
are using a stethoscope, place the earpieces in your ears and the bell of the
stethoscope over the artery, just below the cuff. The stethoscope should not
rub on the cuff or your clothing, since this may cause noises that can make
your pulse hard to hear. If you are using a cuff with a built-in stethoscope
bell, be sure the part of the cuff with the stethoscope is positioned just over
the artery. The accuracy of a blood pressure recording depends on the correct
positioning of the stethoscope over the artery. You may want to have another
person who can use a stethoscope properly help you take your blood pressure.