V - How
to measure high blood pressure?
5.1 - The
most reliable method: to place a probe measuring the pressure directly
in the artery
5.2 - The most
useful method: The measure of the blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer
with a cuff
of the blood pressure
5.3 - At rest at the doctors
5.4 - At rest
at home, using a self-measurement device
5.5 - During
a physical exercise
5.6 - Measurement
by an ambulatory monitoring of the blood pressure during 24 hours
Description of the device
5.7 - The cuff
5.8 - Method
for the measurement of the blood pressure
5.9 - The sphygmomanometer
At rest at the doctors
The blood pressure measurement in your doctors is the most reliable method
and the most practised. Moreover, all the medical studies carried out in the
field of high blood pressure are based on the measurement of the blood pressure
in the doctors.
Some physicians measure
the blood pressure of their patients in a reclining position but
most of them measure the blood pressure in a sitting position.
In fact, the studies have
showed that there was no significant difference between the measurement
of the blood pressure in a sitting position and a laid down position.
To be reliable, the measurement
of the blood pressure must be made when the patient is not using
a effort or stressed, in a quiet place, and after a rest of approximately
But in practice, the doctor
rarely waits 5 minutes before measuring the blood pressure of his
patient: he measures the blood pressure, and if this one is high,
he let his patient rest for 5 minutes approximately before measuring
the blood pressure again.
Usually, the doctor carries
out the measurement of the blood pressure on the arms, in a sitting
position and upright. The dominant arm (the right arm for a right-handed
person or the left for a left-handed person) has a higher blood pressure
than the other arm.
Lastly, a series of three
measurements of the blood pressure is carried out, and only the average
of the last two measurements is considered. According to the result
of the measurement, the doctor defines the level of the high blood
pressure in stages 1, 2 or 3.
last reviewed on : 18 dec 2011