Blood Pressure Monitoring

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Aug. 2012. 1. DETERMINATION OF BLOOD PRESSURE AIM To record and interpret the systolic and diastolic BP using Sphygmomanometer. PRINCIPLE The cuff of the sphygmomanometer is wrapped around the arm of the subject. The bag is then inflated until the air pressure in the cuff overcomes the arterial pressure and obliterates the arterial lumen. This is confirmed by palpating the radial pulse that disappears when the cuff-pressure is raised above the arterial pressure. The pressure is then raised further by 20 mm Hg and then slowly reduced. When the pressure in the cuff reaches just below the arterial pressure, blood escapes beyond the occlusion in to the peripheral part of the artery and the pulse starts reappearing. This is detected by the appearance of sound heard in the stethoscope and pressure at which the sounds are first heard is the systolic pressure. Subsequently, the quality of the sound changes as the pressure is lowered, the sounds become louder and then dull and muffled and finally, disappear. These are sounds of Korotkoff. The sounds of Korotkof are produced due to turbulent flow in the partially constricted brachial artery. The level where sound disappears is taken as the diastolic pressure. The sound disappears because the flow in the blood vessels becomes laminar. Requirements: Sphygmomanometer, stethoscope and a chair or couch. Description of sphygmomanometer: It consists of an inflatable rubber cuff (Riva-Rocci cuff) connected by two tubes. One tube connects the bag to a mercury manometer and the other tube connected to a hand bulb (rubber pump) fitted with a valve which may be used for inflating or deflating the rubber cuff. Width of the cuff should be 20% more than the diameter of the arm. For adults, width of the cuff should be 12.5cm, for children below 8 years 8cm, below 5 years 5cm and for infants below 1 year is 2.5cm.
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