(7) Continue gradually releasing air from the cuff. Note the point on the
mercury column or dial at which the heartbeat cannot be heard, or at which there is a
distinct change in the sound. This is the diastolic pressure.
(8) Release the remaining air from the cuff. Record the blood pressure
reading on the patient's chart by writing the systolic pressure above the diastolic pressure.
Use only even numbers.
EXAMPLE: BP 120
c. Alternate Site for Measurement. If it is impossible to measure the blood
pressure in the arm, the leg is used. When blood pressure is taken in the leg, the popliteal
space (popliteal artery) is used, and the cuff is applied above the knee. If you measure the
blood pressure at any site other than the arm, use the appropriate size cuff and indicate
the site on the chart.
d. Electronic Blood Pressure Apparatus. The cuff of the electronic blood
pressure apparatus is applied and manipulated in basically the same manner as with the
mercury or aneroid manometer. The cuff is usually inflated and deflated automatically. It
is important to place the microphone under the cuff so the arrow that indicates "artery" is in
the correct location. Systolic and diastolic pressures will be printed out on the screen
within a few seconds.
4-20. FACTORS WHICH INFLUENCE BLOOD PRESSURE VALUES
a. Age. Children normally have lower blood pressure at birth (80/60), which
gradually increases until the age of 18 when it becomes equal to the normal adult
pressure. Older adults frequently have higher blood pressure due to a decrease in blood
b. Sex. Men have higher blood pressure than women of the same age.
c. Body Build. Blood pressure is usually elevated in an obese person.
d. Exercise. Muscular exertion will temporarily elevate the blood pressure. A
regular exercise program can eventually decrease the resting blood pressure.
e. Pain. Physical discomfort will usually elevate the blood pressure.
f. Emotional Status. Fear, worry, or excitement can elevate the blood pressure.
g. Disease States and Medication. Some disease conditions and/or the