It is recommended to have a pressure measuring device in every home. For the elderly and those suffering from diseases such as hyper- or hypotension, it is very important to learn in time about the changes in the heart rhythm that have begun in order to prevent serious health problems in advance. To understand how the tonometer works, how to use it correctly, and what errors can occur, our article will help.
The principle of operation of the tonometer
The principle of operation of the tonometer is standard, regardless of the type of device, and comes down to measuring blood pressure – one of the most important indicators of the vital activity of any person.
It’s easy to measure blood pressure correctly. To do this, it must be remembered that the measurement is carried out in a generally accepted scale (mm.r.t.). It is millimeters of mercury that show what blood pressure the person measuring is currently having.. Otherwise, just follow the instructions. It is available in the instruction manual or applied directly to the cuff.
- A special encircling cuff is tightly fixed on the shoulder or on the wrist.
- After that, the cuff is inflated by pumping air.
- When the amount of air necessary for measurement is collected (above the estimated systolic), the device resets it and gives the readings of the tonometer.
- after waking up;
- after physical activity;
- after a stressful situation;
- before taking drugs that lower / increase blood pressure to adjust the dose;
- before bedtime;
- periodic monitoring of nighttime blood pressure.
- letters dia literally means diastole, i.e. lower pressure level.
- letters sys – systole, this is the limit of the upper pressure of the patient. The numbers mean the indicators of both blood pressure thresholds themselves.
- Intellisense indicates the presence of the smart metering function. With this useful option, readings begin already during the inflation process. The technology itself will ensure that there is no strong pulling of the fabric, and will exclude re-injection as a result of a failure. For a tonometer with this option, it takes much less time for one measurement, any discomfort from squeezing the shoulder or hand is practically leveled. The measurement accuracy with the smart function will be much higher than without it.
- WHO Color Chart allows you to determine whether a patient has hypertension, or to establish the level of the norm of his blood pressure. Green (120-80 and below) indicates the norm. Yellow (up to 139, up to 89) indicates that the patient has hypertension. A higher pressure that goes beyond the red scale reminds that there are serious problems with the cardiovascular system. As a rule, the scale is applied to the glass surrounding the display of the tonometer. In some blood pressure monitors, the scale is displayed along with other information, being part of the text. Focusing on the WHO scale helps to keep your blood pressure under control and, in case of any changes, take prompt measures to adjust your blood pressure.
- Letter “E” displayed on the screen means an error. The list of errors may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For example, in the case of an incorrectly fitted cuff, the device will show this letter instead of numbers in the SYS column. A list of all possible errors can be found in the operating instructions for the tonometer.
- BP could change due to natural causes, such as sudden excitement, stress, etc.
- The pressure may be incorrectly measured by the device due to a hardware or software error. In this case, it is recommended to try again later.
In some cases, the user is forced to do all these manipulations on their own. Very important correctly put on the blood pressure cuff, otherwise an error may creep into the measurement. If the fabric is not close enough to the surface of the skin, it should be corrected and made sure that it repeats all the reliefs and curves. This is the only way to achieve the best result when pumping air.
If there is no automatic supercharger, the rules of use prescribe use a special pear. In fact, there is not much difference whether the air is pumped by hand or by a compressor.
Important! Before starting work, it is necessary to realize that a person’s blood pressure is constantly changing, this is not a fixed value. It is not always the fault of the device itself or the user. It may very well be that in those 10-15 minutes that have passed since the last measurement, the pressure could really change due to natural causes.
Features of blood pressure measurement
Let’s talk about the intricacies of measuring pressure. Knowing this information will help you avoid incorrect results.
It may seem strange, but experts do not recommend measuring blood pressure too often. Concerns about too frequent measurements are not groundless. Years of research conducted in therapeutic departments around the world have recorded one unusual phenomenon – waiting syndrome.
The syndrome lies in the fact that the patient already anticipates the measurement and, on the basis of this, makes his own forecast, thereby adjusting his real pressure with faith in what it will be. In the scientific literature, similar symptoms are described by the “placebo effect”, the patient’s belief in the power of the medicine taken, etc.
However, with the measurement of blood pressure, not everything is so simple. Much depends on what disease the patient has and how difficult it is. With atrial fibrillation it is necessary to measure the pressure before each medication, as the amount of the drug used will depend on this. Most requested measurements:
It is extremely important, having a disease of the cardiovascular system, to keep an individual diary of blood pressure. Similar recommendations can be heard not only from cardiologists, but also from local therapists. Having a diary in hand, you can trace the dynamics of blood pressure. Fortunately, some automatic models of blood pressure monitors are equipped with a memory for the last measurements, and the rules for measuring blood pressure are quite simple.
The frequency of pressure measurements depends on which device is used by the patient. The fact is that, without being a physician and without clinical experience, it is rather problematic to constantly use a classic mechanical tonometer. Having an automatic model in hand, the frequency of measurements is limited only by their necessity and expediency.
Which arm to measure blood pressure
It is worth mentioning on which arm to measure the pressure. This also affects the accuracy of the measurements. Since the advent of the first mechanical blood pressure monitors to this day readings are taken from the left hand. When using an electronic tonometer, this is a mandatory requirement; in mechanical models, it is only desirable.
On a note! Some cardiologists generally deny the connection between the right or left hand and pressure. Doctors suggest focusing on the arm where blood pressure is above the average norm, and not on the sides, right or left.
How to put on a cuff
At work with mechanical tonometer you need to learn how to put on the cuff correctly. If the cuff is attached incorrectly, the device will give a measurement error, because. hemodynamics will be poor. The cuff fabric should fit snugly over the entire surface, snuggling and repeating the relief of the shoulder or wrist. For measurement, you should set the tonometer in the correct position in front of the measuring one and sequentially take in air with a pear.
working with automatic devicesimply place the cuff on your wrist and press the button. The technology will do the rest.
How to measure blood pressure with a mechanical sphygmomanometer
It is not difficult to use a manual or mechanical tonometer, you just need to take into account a few points that will greatly facilitate its operation.
The first thing to take care of is to make sure that the cuff is on correctly, and sufficient fit to the hand. Before starting work, there must be a distance between the arm and the cuff fabric so that a finger can easily fit there. The tissue is fixed at the same level with the heart. There may be an indent of about 2 centimeters to the elbow.
When the cuff is fixed, it is necessary to draw air into it. This is done using a special device, a pear. As a rule, injection is performed 40 millimeters more than normal from the patient’s average pressure (for example, 120 + 40 mm). When the required point is reached, the air is released. This is also done, manually, by turning the lock at the base of the pear.
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Further to the arm, near the bend at the elbow, in the inner part, applied phonendoscope. This must be done as accurately as possible in order to be able to listen to the artery. The first push heard will report the upper pressure limit. Physicians call this parameter systolic. All the time while air is being discharged, you must carefully listen to the knock. The last sound indicates lower pressure. It is called diastolic.
How to measure pressure with an automatic sphygmomanometer
It is much easier to measure pressure with an automatic tonometer than with its manual counterpart. It is perfect even for children, the main thing is that the size of the cuff allows. For measurement it is necessary to put on a cuff on a shoulder or a wrist. This is already enough for a shoulder tonometer, you can press the button and wait for the results, the device will do the rest.
In order to properly use an automatic tonometer, you need to know the decoding of the readings displayed on the screen of the device.
The signs on the tonometer can also display other information. For example, show arrhythmias.
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On a note! Not all models of automatic blood pressure monitors support the analysis of the presence of this disease. If the instrument has any doubts, it will itself conduct a series of brief measurements in order to exclude an error.
The characters on the screen differ depending on the manufacturer. So, if the heart is blinking, this indicates the presence of a failure in the heart rhythm. This icon is the most common. The lightning bolt icon on the display also indicates the presence of an arrhythmia. If the result aroused suspicion, it is best to re-pass the procedure after a short period of time.
If a tonometer shows different pressurethere may be several influencing factors at once.
Features of using a carpal tonometer
This type of blood pressure monitor is the most compact and easy to carry. It is easy to take it with you on a trip or to the country.
Important! Perhaps a serious disadvantage is the lack of network operation. The user will have to constantly change the batteries, which quickly fail.
The principle of measuring “one button” remained unchanged, as in the case of shoulder-mounted automatic devices. However, a pulse tonometer will require the owner to perform one more additional action. After tightening the cuff and firmly fixing it on the wrist, it is necessary to attach the device to the chest in the region of the heart so that the pattern on the cuff is in contact with the body. In this case, the back of the hand lies on the opposite, right collarbone.
There are no other features of the pulse tonometer. Measurement accuracy does not depend on the position of the cuff. The only thing that can significantly affect the final result is an incorrectly fixed hand position. The instructions for the device have detailed drawings describing the operation process. Schematic signs are duplicated on the cuff itself.
Anyone can learn how to use a tonometer. To do this, you need the desire to take your blood pressure under strict control. It is important to remember that no one, except the user himself, will be able to monitor the disease. The good news is that measurements now do not take much time, the whole process takes no more than a few minutes. A mechanical tonometer requires more skill, but with experience, the patient will use it with the same ease as an automatic one.
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