Saturday, July 31, 2010

Monitoring Blood Pressure at Home

A Summary of Guidelines and Recommendations for Long-term Blood Pressure Monitoring at Home.

1- The type of monitor:

While the auscultatory method has been used in hospital settings for decades, it is now increasingly replaced by the use of automated oscillatory machines. The latter automatic devices are probably more suited for home use. Patients should make sure the machine they purchased has been validated and has FDA clearance. hM believes that monitors such as Omron's HEM-790IT and Lifesource's UA-767PC are examples of suitable machines for long-term use.

2- Measuring method:

The patient should be sitting comfortably and have rested for five minutes before the measurement. The patient should abstain from having smoked or having had coffee or eaten just prior to the measurement. The arm should be resting comfortably on a desk or table. The cuff should then be wrapped around the arm, at about an inch above the crease of the elbow so that the cuff is at the same level as the patient's heart. Patient should refrain from talking and stand still while blood pressure is being taken.

3- Number of measurements.

Two measurements can be taken, at a ten minute interval. This will provide more accurate and reliable records.

4- Recording the numbers.

Some machines now come with integrated software programs that record the numbers automatically and allow you to transfer the results to your PC. The data can then be emailed and shared with your doctor. Some monitors can also send the data directly to your physician, using Bluetooth technology.

For the detailed guidelines:
Reference: The US Department of Health and Human Resources - "Recommendations for blood pressure measurement in humans..."

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