Like the systolic, the diastolic is determined to the nearest even whole
t. Release Air. Once you have determined the patient's diastolic pressure,
rotate the screw counterclockwise until the valve is opened as far as possible. This will
allow the bladder to deflate rapidly.
u. Verify Readings, if Needed. If you are not sure that the blood pressure
readings (both systolic and diastolic) are correct, squeeze all the air out of the bladder
while it is still wrapped around the patient's arm and repeat steps m through t. The
blood pressure can usually be checked quickly because you already know the patient's
approximate blood pressure readings. This means that you will usually inflate the
bladder quickly to a pressure about 10 mm Hg above the first reading, release the air
slowly until the first pulse is heard, release air little faster, and then slow the air flow
down when you approach the level of the diastolic reading. If the second set of
readings is very different from the first, remove the bladder from the patient's limb, force
the remaining air out, wait one minute, and take his blood pressure again.
v. Record Readings. Record the systolic and diastolic readings. The systolic
is written first and is separated from the diastolic by a diagonal line. For example, a
systolic of 120 and a diastolic of 80 is written "120/80." Both reading are recorded as
whole, even numbers.
w. Remove Bladder. Remove the bladder from around the patient's arm or
thigh, force the remaining air out of the bladder, and close the valve.
x. Assist Patient, If Needed. Assist the patient as needed. For example, you
may need to help the patient with his shirt or pajamas.
y. Clean Earpieces. If you are not going to continue using the stethoscope,
clean the earpieces again. Use the same procedures as previously described in
z. Return Equipment. If you will no longer need the sphygmomanometer and
stethoscope, return them, along with any other equipment used, to their proper storage
CAN I TAKE A PATIENT'S BLOOD PRESSURE WITHOUT A
Sometimes the noise level of your work area may make it very difficult to listen to
the patient's pulse with a stethoscope or you may not have a stethoscope available. In
such cases, use your fingertips (not your thumb) to feel the pulse instead of using a
stethoscope to listen for the pulse. The following steps summarize how this procedure