High blood pressure is a serious medical condition that can lead to stroke, heart disease and kidney problems. People with high blood pressure should monitor themselves at home daily with a blood pressure monitor cuff. It can be done on oneself or with assistance from a friend, family member or homecare professional. The equipment may be purchased online through a home medical equipment company. Blood pressure readings will be most accurate when packaging instructions are followed. Here are a few guidelines to make home monitoring part of the daily routine.
Always take a few minutes to relax before using the diagnostic homecare medical equipment. Sit quietly and breathe normally. Clear the mind of stressful thoughts and worrisome issues.
Before taking the blood pressure reading, find a comfortable place to sit with both feet flat on the ground. Do not cross the legs or impede their circulation. Hands should be placed comfortably in the lap without restriction.
Wear something sleeveless if possible. Avoid tight or restrictive clothing. If a sleeveless top is unavailable, roll up the sleeve of the left arm. If this is not an option, the blood pressure reading can be taken over light clothing, but it will not be as accurate.
Check the blood pressure cuff and bladder to make sure they are in good repair. They should not be cracked or torn. The connections between pieces of the apparatus should be tight. If they are not, replacement parts can be purchased from a home medical supplies company.
Most digital home monitors are battery operated. Check that there are working batteries inside. If the LED digital display on the device is fading in and out, it is time to buy fresh batteries.
While manual monitors do not require power, they can still malfunction after a lot of wear and tear or frequent use. Check the gauge to make sure it is not cracked or broken.
Once the cuff has been applied to the arm as instructed by the manufacturer’s directions, stay completely still. If someone else is taking the reading, have them alert the patient before it starts.
Do not talk, sing or laugh while the device is in use. This will affect the outcome of the diagnostic test.
Take the reading at about the same time every day. It will likely be lower in the morning, before the busyness and hassles of the day are encountered. Do not do it just after a meal or drinking caffeine.