Buy A Blood Pressure Monitor

Written by Sarah Provost
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If you are considering purchasing a blood pressure monitor for personal use, it's a good idea to do some comparison shopping. A little research will ensure that you are buying the best type of monitor at the best price. Here are some factors to take into consideration.

Digital vs. Manual Monitors

Manual monitors require the user to inflate and deflate the pressure cuff at the appropriate rate by means of a rubber bulb with a release valve. They also require you to listen to the heart sounds in the artery at the crook of your elbow with a stethoscope, which is problematic for people with hearing impairment. They are delicate instruments which can easily lose accurate calibration. For these reasons, most users purchase a digital monitor.

Fully automatic digital monitors inflate and deflate the cuff at the appropriate rate. Blood pressure is measured by means of an oscilloscope and the reading is displayed on a screen. Semi-automatic models require the user to inflate the cuff; this requires little skill, but can be difficult for those with arthritis. Digital monitors are more expensive than manual models, but considering the ease of use and the fact that they are less likely to be damaged, it seems to be a good idea to spend a little more.

Cuff size is extremely important when you are buying a monitor for home use. If the cuff is too large, your readings will be consistently low. If it is too small, your readings will be higher than appropriate. Standard cuffs fit an arm with a circumference of 9 to 13 inches. If your arm does not fall within that range, you will need to purchase a non-standard cuff to get an accurate reading.

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