Lies, Deceit, and Blood Pressure Measurement

Blood Pressure Measurement and Other Tall Tales

From the elderly patient who really doesn’t want to get prescribed antihypertensives to the young, motivated paramedic, sometimes the numbers just don’t add up.  Check out the podcast to get the whole story!


Show Notes

Reasons a measurement may be inaccurate

    • Room Temperature
    • Exercise
    • Alcohol use
    • Nicotine use
    • Background Noise
    • Arm position
    • Muscle Tension
    • Bladder Distension
    • Talking
    • Cell phone use
    • Observer bias
    • Observer inexperience

What is Blood Pressure?

  • The force or pressure exerted on the walls of the arteries by blood as it is pumped by the heart.
  • Heart Contracting- Systolic BP
  • Heart Relaxing- Diastolic BP
  • NIBP= Non-invasive Blood Pressure
    • With external cuff
  • NIBP is really just an educated guess of BP
  • Pulse Pressure= SBP-DBP
  • MAP= Mean Arterial Pressure
    • The Mean (average) pressure during one complete cardiac cycle
    • MAP= (CO x SVR) + CVP
    • If we are using NIBP:
      • MAP= SBP+ (DBP x 2) / 3

Automated BP Measurement

NIBP Tips from Physio-Control


Learn to Auscultate Blood Pressure


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Pickering TG, Hall JE, Appel LJ, Falkner BE, Graves J, Hill MN, Jones DW, Kurtz T, Sheps SG, Roccella EJ. Recommendations for blood pressure measurement in humans and experimental animals: part 1: blood pressure measurement in humans: a statement for professionals from the Subcommittee of Professional and Public Education of the American Heart Association Council on High Blood Pressure Research. Circulation. 2005 Feb 8 [accessed 2017 Sep 7].

Wingfield D, Freeman GK, Bulpitt CJ, General ( G. Selective recording in blood pressure readings may increase subsequent mortality. QJM : monthly journal of the Association of Physicians. 2002 Sep [accessed 2017 Sep 7].

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