19-Blood Pressure-01-Feb-2019Reference Material I_Blood pressure.pdf

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2.1 Blood Pressure Measurement 2.1.1 Medical Aspects of Blood Pressure Measurement The measurement of blood pressure is one of the checks that doctors routinely perform. Problems with the cardio-vascular system are often indicated by abnormal blood pressure readings. More specifically malfunction of the heart can be directly diagnosed from blood pressure measurement. In the hospital environment blood pressure is monitored during operations and continuously recorded in intensive care units. Measurements of blood pressure within the heart may provide information about the integrity of the heart valves. The normal resting patient will have a heart rate of approximately 70 beats per minute. Each stroke ejects about 70 cm 3 of blood from the left ventricle into the aorta (main artery leaving the left ventricle). At the hiatus of each stroke the pressure within the arteries reaches a maximum and then declines during the rest of the cardiac cycle. The peak blood pressure is referred to as systolic whilst the minimum value is the diastolic. The normal patient will have a systolic blood pressure of approximately 120 mm Hg and a diastolic blood pressure of approximately 80 mm Hg. The bo dy’s circulation can be divided into two circuits: the Systemic circuit and the pulmonary circuit. The pressure in the systemic circuit is high as the blood leaves the heart however; having passed through the body the pressure in major veins is as little as 4 mm Hg. The pulmonary circuit operates at relatively low pressure as the function of the lungs is to exchange oxygen. Pulmonary circuit pressure has a systolic peak of 25 mm Hg and a diastolic value of 10 mm Hg. Therefore blood pressure is pulsatile and dependent on the point of measurement. Clinically the doctor is interested in the systolic and diastolic reading and also the average pressure. 2.1.2 Non-Invasive Measurement An invasive measure of the pressure is often neither feasible nor justifiable, so numerous non-invasive techniques have been developed. The commonest is the sphygmomanometer for measuring arterial blood pressure. Sphygmomanometer Blood Pressure Measurement The Sphygmomanometer is the most common method of blood pressure measurement. It is a non-invasive method.
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The measurement is performed by wrapping an inflatable cuff around a patient’s upper arm. The cuff consists of a bag contained within a cloth sleeve and can be secured by a tie or Velcro strap.
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