Can you take your blood pressure on your forearm?
Nurses often find that it is faster and easier to take a forearm blood pressure than to search for a larger cuff. Studies have shown that forearm blood pressures generally run 3.6/2.1 mm Hg higher than upper arm blood pressures.
The brachial artery's other branches are: the inferior ulnar collateral, profunda brachii, and superior ulnar arteries. The brachial artery's pulse can be felt on the elbow's front side. This is why blood pressure is measured in this area using either a sphygmomanometer (a blood pressure meter) or a stethoscope.
- Blood pressure is measured with an instrument called a sphygmomanometer. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and recorded with the systolic number first, followed by the diastolic number. For example, a normal blood pressure would be recorded as something under 120/80 mm Hg.
- Instrument list
Instrument Uses Sphygmomanometer to measure the patient's blood pressure Stethoscope to hear sounds from movements within the body like heart beats, intestinal movement, breath sounds, etc. Suction device to suck up blood or secretions Thermometer to record body temperature
- Blood pressure is measured in units of “millimeters of mercury”; written mmHg for short. Blood pressure measurements are always given in pairs, with the upper (systolic) value first, followed by the lower (diastolic) value.
The patient should sit or lie comfortably. The arm should be fully supported on a flat surface at heart level. (If the arm's position varies, or is not level with the heart, measurement values obtained will not be consistent with the patient's true blood pressure).
- Nurses often find that it is faster and easier to take a forearm blood pressure than to search for a larger cuff. Studies have shown that forearm blood pressures generally run 3.6/2.1 mm Hg higher than upper arm blood pressures.
- Here are 15 natural ways to combat high blood pressure.
- Walk and exercise regularly. Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lower high blood pressure.
- Reduce your sodium intake.
- Drink less alcohol.
- Eat more potassium-rich foods.
- Cut back on caffeine.
- Learn to manage stress.
- Eat dark chocolate or cocoa.
- Lose weight.
- When the BP cuff has inflated enough to stop blood flow you should hear no sounds through the stethoscope. The gauge should read 30 to 40 mmHg above the person's normal BP reading. If this value is unknown you can inflate the cuff to 160 - 180 mmHg. (If pulse sounds are heard right away, inflate to a higher pressure.)
Roll up the sleeve on your left arm or remove any tight-sleeved clothing, if needed. (It's best to take blood pressure from the left arm, if possible.) Rest in a chair next to a table for five to 10 minutes. (Your left arm should rest comfortably at heart level.)
- If you check in the morning, do so before you have eaten or taken any medication. If you check in the evening, wait for at least 2 hours after eating a meal or at least 30 minutes after drinking coffee or smoking. No matter what time of day you check your blood pressure, rest for a few minutes before you begin.
- Answer: The blood pressure measured at the calf would be larger than that measured at the arm. The blood at the calf is deeper in the liquid than that at the arm and so it is is at higher pressure. Blood pressures are normally taken at the arm because it is at approximately the same height as the heart.
- To begin blood pressure measurement, use a properly sized blood pressure cuff.
- Wrap the cuff around the upper arm with the cuff's lower edge one inch above the antecubital fossa.
- Lightly press the stethoscope's bell over the brachial artery just below the cuff's edge.
- Rapidly inflate the cuff to 180mmHg.
Updated: 17th October 2019