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Blood pressure monitors for home

Alternative Names:

Hypertension - home monitoring



Information:

Your health care provider may ask you to keep track of your blood pressure at home. To do this, you will need to get a home blood pressure monitor. The monitor you choose should be of good quality and fit well.

MANUAL BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORS

  • Manual devices include a cuff that wraps around your arm, a rubber squeeze bulb, and a gauge that measures the blood pressure. A stethoscope is needed to listen to the blood pulsing through the artery.
  • You can see your blood pressure on the circular dial of the gauge as the needle moves around and the pressure in the cuff rises or falls.
  • When used correctly, manual devices are very accurate. However, they are not the recommended type of blood pressure monitor for home use.

DIGITAL BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORS

  • A digital device will also have a cuff that wraps around your arm. To inflate the cuff, you may need to use a rubber squeeze ball. Other kinds will inflate automatically when you push a button.
  • After the cuff is inflated, the pressure will slowly drop on its own. The screen will show a digital readout of your systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
  • After showing your blood pressure, the cuff will deflate on its own. With most machines, you must wait for 2 to 3 minutes before using it again.
  • A digital blood pressure monitor will not be as accurate if your body is moving when you are using it. Also, an irregular heart rate will make the reading less accurate. However, digital monitors are the best choice for most people.

TIPS FOR MONITORING YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE

  • Practice using the monitor with your health care provider to make sure you are taking your blood pressure correctly.
  • Your arm should be supported, with your upper arm at heart level and feet on the floor (back supported, legs uncrossed).
  • It is best to measure your blood pressure after you rest for at least 5 minutes.
  • DO NOT take your blood pressure when you are under stress, have had caffeine, or used a tobacco product in the last 30 minutes, or have recently exercised.


References:

Victor RG. Arterial hypertension In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 67.

Victor RG. Systemic hypertension: mechanisms and diagnosis. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, et al. eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 43.




Review Date: 5/3/2015
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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Morristown Medical Center
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Overlook Medical Center
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Summit, NJ 07901
908-522-2000

Newton Medical Center
175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
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Chilton Medical Center
97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
973-831-5000

Hackettstown Medical Center
651 Willow Grove Street
Hackettstown, NJ 07840
908-852-5100

Goryeb Children's Hospital
100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Atlantic Medical Group
1-800-247-9580

Morristown Medical Center

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Overlook Medical Center

99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
908-522-2000

Newton Medical Center

175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
973-383-2121

Chilton Medical Center

97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
973-831-5000

Hackettstown Medical Center

651 Willow Grove Street
Hackettstown, NJ 07840
908-852-5100

Goryeb Children's Hospital

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Affiliated Providers

Atlantic Medical Group

More than 600 community-based health care providers.
1-800-247-9580

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