To begin with, it is important to know the relationship between pressure ulcers and blood pressure. Normal blood pressure levels are vital. This ensures that tissues have the necessary supply of oxygen and nutrients, both to prevent the onset of bedsores and for healing. We recommend having a blood pressure meter at home. They are very useful and low cost.
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What is a blood pressure monitor or sphingmomanometer?
A blood pressure meter is a device to measure the tension or pressure exerted by blood on the walls of our arteries. There are manual blood pressure monitors and digital or electronic blood pressure monitors. We recommend the digital blood pressure monitor at home for several reasons:
For its ease of use for all users, as it does not need special or professional knowledge.
Because they are more and more accurate.
Because they can measure blood pressure comfortably at home, and at any time of day.
They are also called sphygmomanometers and sphingomanometers. There are devices to take the tension that are placed on the patient’s arm (arm tensiometer) or those that are placed on the wrist (wrist tensiometer). We recommend arm blood pressure monitors because they are more accurate, although it is important to place them correctly. The blood pressure monitor will also indicate the heart rate or pulse.
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure or force that blood exerts against the walls of the arteries when it is pumped by the heart. This pressure is necessary for blood to circulate through the blood vessels and thus deliver nutrients and oxygen to all tissues in the body.
The blood pressure monitor will give us two measurements:
- Systolic blood pressure: which is the maximum value of blood pressure when the heart contracts, i.e. in systole. It indicates the pressure exerted by the blood leaving the heart on the wall of the blood vessels.
- Diastolic blood pressure: which is the minimum value of blood pressure when the heart relaxes, i.e. in diastole.
Normal blood pressure values are between 120/80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury), 120 mmHg maximum and 80 mmHg minimum, although there is a wide range of this measurement that would also be within normal values from 100 to 140 maximum and from 50 to 80 minimum. In the values of Blood Pressure, there are many factors that influence: age, weight, pathologies, rest… and that we will talk about in other articles.
How to choose and where to buy an approved blood pressure monitor?
We have to take some things into account when choosing and buying an approved blood pressure monitor or blood pressure devices. We recommend that for domestic use you choose the digital blood pressure monitor and that you use only those that have been validated by independent bodies and approved by the European Union. We prefer arm blood pressure monitors to wrist blood pressure monitors.
For the homologation, there are different independent validation protocols carried out by prestigious bodies, such as:
- European Society of Hypertension.
- British Society of Hypertension.
The manual blood pressure monitor is more reserved for health professionals, and also requires a stethoscope to take or measure blood pressure.
It is also necessary to choose the length of the cuff (which is the device where the arm is inserted for measurement and the one that inflates automatically once the button is pressed), there are special cuffs to adapt it to the arm of a child or of an adult person who has a thicker arm, i.e. cuffs appropriate to the circumference of the arm.
To buy a blood pressure monitor the best place is Amazon, the largest online store where you can buy very safely and with warranty, and also probably at better prices.
Types of blood pressure monitors
There is currently a wide variety of blood pressure monitors on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. We can classify them into two main types:
–The manuals. Among the manuals we have mercury blood pressure monitors that are already in disuse, and analog or aneroid blood pressure monitors. The analog tensiometer is made up of several parts:
- The bracelet (or cuff) that is placed on the person’s arm.
- The pear, which when squeezed with our hand, breathes air into the cuff, exerting pressure on the arm.
- A manometer, which is a kind of clock, is the pressure gauge.
- The stethoscope is a separate instrument from the blood pressure monitor, but it is necessary to listen to the sound of the heart.
–The automatic or digital. They can be an arm blood pressure monitor or a wrist blood pressure monitor. They work very easily, it is only necessary to place the cuff on the arm or wrist, it is given to the button of ignition of the device and the same tensiometer presses the cuff, and in the screen it records the values of maximum and minimum tension, as well as the cardiac frequency. They work with batteries.
What is the difference between an analogue blood pressure monitor and a digital blood pressure monitor?
The main difference is that the analog sphygmomanometer is used by health professionals, both nurses and doctors (it is an inflatable cuff that is placed on the arm and a phonendoscopy so that the professional hears the sound produced in each heartbeat.) It is very precise, but has the disadvantage that some professional skill is required to measure blood pressure correctly.
The digital ones, on the other hand, have been designed to be used by anyone with hypertension problems in their own home. It is easy to use although not as accurate as the blood pressure monitors used by professionals.
Digital blood pressure monitors
We have selected the best recommended and approved digital blood pressure monitors, so that it is easier for you to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Manual blood pressure monitors or analogue blood pressure monitors
We have selected the best manual homologated blood pressure monitors. This way it will be easier for you to choose the one that best suits your needs. We have prepared this selection:
In other articles we will provide you with professional information related to blood pressure, causes, habits to correct and treatment.
How to use the arm blood pressure monitor or tensiometer. How to measure your blood pressure at home.
- To measure blood pressure in the most correct way, you should take it while sitting, having been at rest before taking it. The left arm is normally or preferably used, but it can also be taken on the right arm.
- The arm should be resting on the table, or on the armrest of an armchair, for example. Place with the palm of the hand facing upwards. Position approximately at the height of the heart. The arm should be uncovered, with no clothing to press against.
- Always take the tension in the same conditions or as similar as possible (at the same time of day, in the same environment, at the same temperature, without stress…).
- The cuff of the blood pressure cuff is placed at the top of the arm above the elbow flexure. The sleeve has a signal, where the cable is, that has to coincide with the middle line of the forearm, i.e. that cable must be in the middle, not on one side. You must adjust the sleeve to your arm, with the Velcro adhesive you have for it. It should not be too tight but it should not be loose, it should be in its right size.
- During the measurement of blood pressure should remain silent and without moving.
- Finally, press the start button on the blood pressure monitor. You will notice how the blood pressure monitor breathes air into the cuff, and you will also notice the pressure in the arm. This pressure will gradually decrease as the cuff deflates. The display will show two digits, the systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure results.
- Note the date and time of the blood pressure measurement. This will enable you to show it well to your doctor or nurse in your next appointment. This will be very useful for you.
- These measurements help to monitor blood pressure rises and falls at home. They should not be a substitute for measurements taken by healthcare professionals.
- It is very important that there is a meter in every home. A blood pressure monitor can save your life or one of your relatives. It helps to detect and prevent diseases that can become very serious.
- I hope this article has helped you decide which blood pressure monitor to buy and has been very useful for your daily life