a. Position the Patient. Position the patient so that you can easily take the
b. Locate Pulse. Locate the patient's pulse (inside elbow or knee).
c. Place and Inflate Bladder. Wrap the bladder around the patient's upper arm
or thigh, as appropriate. (The bladder must be placed between the pulse site and the
d. Inflate Bladder to Starting Point. Inflate the bladder while continuing to feel
the patient's pulse. Inflate the bladder until you feel the pulse stop; then inflate it
another 10 mm Hg.
Inflate the bladder to at least 140 mm Hg, but not more than 200 mm Hg.)
e. Release the Air Slowly. Turn the valve so that air escapes. Continue to feel
for a pulse and continue to watch the gauge.
f. Determine Systolic. The systolic is the pressure at which you feel the first
pulse beat return.
g. Determine Diastolic. The diastolic is the pressure at which the pulse
changes to a less distinct (more normal) pulse. The diastolic measurement is only an
approximation since it is usually difficult to determine the diastolic using this method.
h. Release Air. Open the valve fully in order to relieve the pressure as quickly
i. Verify Readings, If Needed. If you wish to check your results, squeeze the
air out of the bladder, close the valve, and repeat the procedure.
j. Record Readings. Write the patient's readings (systolic/diastolic) on the
form or paper. Remember that both readings are to be even whole numbers.
k. Remove Bladder. Remove the bladder from the patient's arm or thigh. Also
assist the patient to adjust his clothing or position as needed.
l. Return Equipment. If you are not going to take another patient's blood
pressure, return the sphygmomanometer to the proper storage area.