A good means of controling high blood pressure : The self-measurement
of blood pressure
- Why using a self-measurement device?
- The self-measurement device
10.3 - The Inflation
and deflating of the cuff
10.4 - Ideal anatomical site for the measurement
of the blood pressure
10.5 - Validation
of the device
10.6 - Conditions
and number of measurements
- Ideal anatomical site for the measurement of the blood pressure
10.4.1 - Anatomical
site of reference
The blood pressure must
be measured as close as possible to the aorta, the artery which
comes out directly from the heart.
Thus, the reference
measurement of the blood pressure is established by a measurement
at the level of the artery of the arm (humeral artery), because
this artery is the closest to the heart and most easily accessible.
10.4.2 - Other sites
The blood pressure can also be recorded at the level of the arteries of the
wrist and even of the fingers. Nevertheless, these sites are by themselves
source of error because their distance from the heart is responsible for an
artificial rise in the blood pressure.
Moreover, during the
measurement, it is very important to place the site of measurement
at the level of the heart because gravity is also another source
Indeed, if the subject
takes its blood pressure upright, with an outstretched arm along
the body, the blood pressure measured at the level of the arm
could be raised on an average of 3 millimetres of mercury, whereas
if it is measured at the level of the wrist, this increase could
be of 15 millimetres of mercury, compared to the blood pressure
measured in the aorta!
If the patient is seated,
blood pressure variation along the arterial tree is less important,
and value of the blood pressure at the brachial site is closed
to the value measured at the wrist. For that reason, the device
that measure blood pressure at the wrist could perfectly be used
in clinical practice.
We thus recommend to
choose a self-measurement device of blood pressure, which preferably
measures the blood pressure at the level of the arm, or at the
wrist, compared to a device measuring the blood pressure at the
level the fingers.
last reviewed on : 18 dec 2011