How to Check Blood Pressure

Check Blood Pressure
Check Blood Pressure

How to Check Blood Pressure. Blood pressure machines are popular right now. But taking your pressure manually with a simple cuff and stethoscope will render an accurate reading. Just follow these steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Stethoscope
  • Blood pressure cuff

Purchase a blood pressure cuff like your doctor uses. It wraps around your arm and has a pump. You can find these in pharmacies or drug stores. They come in small, adult, large and extra large sizes.

Buy a stethoscope. The more expensive models will deliver clearer sound.

Wrap the blood pressure cuff around the arm slightly above the crease of your forearm. Place the stethoscope on the crease of the forearm and pump the blood pressure cuff up to 160. The metal attachment on the side of the pump allows you to inflate and deflate the cuff.

Listen for the systolic and diastolic number. You will hear two different sounds with the stethoscope as you slowly deflate the cuff. The first sound will be strong and the second sound lighter. At the start of each new sound, look at the reading on the cuff to see the numbers with the first and stronger sound representing the top systolic number and the second, softer sound representing the diastolic number.

Repeat the blood pressure reading. Results will vary from arm to arm. Ideal blood pressure is 120/80. You should take three or four readings and average the results.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult a doctor if you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, numbness, tingling in your left arm or slurred speech. These may be signs of a serious heart condition.

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