Define Systolic & Diastolic Blood Pressure

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The systolic reading in blood pressure is the top number that represents the contractions of the heart. Diastolic blood pressure readings are the bottom number, which represents the relaxation of the arteries. Read systolic and diastolic blood pressure numbers with information from a nurse in this free video on blood pressure.

Part of the Video Series: Blood Pressure Facts
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'd like to give you some information on defining systolic and diastolic blood pressure. First of all, when you look at a blood pressure, it has two numbers. It has one on the top and one on the bottom. You record the first one as you hear it coming through the stethoscope or you can palpitate it with your fingers on the brachial artery. When you hear that first number, that's the first number that comes up that you would chart. And the diastolic would be the bottom number which is the last number that you hear really well on the stethoscope or the palpation of your fingers. Systolic is the top reading, it's the engorgement of the blood, the contracting of the heart. The diastolic is the bottom number is the relaxation of the arteries. So you're measuring when measuring pressure. The pressure of the heart pumps into the large arteries, the large arteries goes into the smaller arteries which are the arterials and then it goes into the capillaries. The capillaries then feeds the organs and that's where the nutrients and the vitamins and so forth go into the organs. And then after the organs have been fed with that pumped blood of oxygenated blood, which is the arteries, it goes into the veins. And once it goes into the veins, it comes back to the heart and starts all over again. The blood fills those upper chambers and then the systolic mode and in the diastolic mode it's relaxation, the contractual of the muscle of the heart with the arteries. And so this defines a little bit about systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

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