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Old 04-13-2018, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
13,132 posts, read 7,387,994 times
Reputation: 27249

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This article discusses the fact that the digital machines are not as accurate as manual measurements of blood pressure. Other articles I read said that no matter which method is used, when patients are getting their bp measured, they should:

1. sit still and quiet for 5 minutes before the test (does anyone remember doing that at the doctor's office? I sure don't.)

2. avoid caffeine, smoking, or exercising 30 minutes before the test.

3. keep your feet flat on the ground.

4. empty bladder before measurement.

5. the cuff should rest on your skin.

6. don't let your arm dangle.

https://ask.metafilter.com/230392/Bl...e-machine-woes

https://www.statesman.com/news/natio...XUVztpZAN67gP/

 
Old 04-13-2018, 10:15 AM
 
18,756 posts, read 6,129,215 times
Reputation: 12657
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
The finger gizmo is called a pulse oximeter. It measures the oxygen in your blood (and gives your pulse rate), not your blood pressure. They are entirely different things.
I was just going to correct myself but I meant to say Wrist monitor...but you beat me to correcting me Suzy, you are on top of it. The wrist monitor is what some have used and how accurate they are, don't know....does anyone else know.

I know about the finger and pulse/oxygen oximeter.
 
Old 04-13-2018, 10:16 AM
 
18,756 posts, read 6,129,215 times
Reputation: 12657
Quote:
Originally Posted by phantompilot View Post
I'm always surprised that the medical assistants are so lazy or poorly trained with regards to the BP/HR measurement protocols.

1. They don't put the arm at the correct level. The arm needs to be at the level of the heart. If you're sitting in a chair, the assistant should either have you put your arm on an adjacent table or cabinet such that the arm is at the correct elevation or hold it to their side, like on their hip, supporting it, so that you're not straining/flexing to keep your arm in position, as that will affect the reading.

2. They don't wait long enough! The patient should be seated and resting (no movement) for five minutes or so before the reading is taken. Otherwise the measurement is not "resting" and thus is bound to not be that informative nor can it be consistent.

3. They don't take BP in both arms. Always take both arms. A significant disparity in BP between arms is indicative of atherosclerosis somewhere on the high side and needs to be worked up.

Is the wrist monitor accurate? So often the upper arm monitor is so tight it really does hurt.
 
Old 04-13-2018, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
27,425 posts, read 17,619,243 times
Reputation: 39904
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaminhealth View Post
Is the wrist monitor accurate? So often the upper arm monitor is so tight it really does hurt.
DH wanted a wrist monitor about a year and a half ago, and when I researched it I found a lot saying it is not the best way to do it, so I didn't get it.

But I would wait to hear from Suzy and others.
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Texas
42,204 posts, read 49,740,662 times
Reputation: 66975
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyFoxSeaton View Post
No it doesn't- your mind can't control your BP.



As I mentioned... it isn't a minor variation. Today I had ONE reading with one person, and 10 minutes later, an accurate reading over 30 points different. This leads to the conclusion that it was an inaccurate reading cause by human error. Which seems to be happening all the time lately.
Oh, yes, it can.
You have a lot of negative opinions about the medical profession for a person who is so ill-informed about how the body works.
 
Old 04-13-2018, 10:57 AM
 
493 posts, read 220,088 times
Reputation: 2136
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaminhealth View Post
Is the wrist monitor accurate? So often the upper arm monitor is so tight it really does hurt.
Most automated cuffs use an oscillometer to detect the vibrations caused by blood flow in your arteries. The brachial artery has a larger cross-section at your elbow than at your wrist. So the vibrations would be easier to detect "upstream". It also depends on how sensitive the oscillometer is; if it takes an earthquake for it to read anything, it wouldn't be accurate for BP monitoring. My previous career was mechanical engineering.
 
Old 04-13-2018, 11:19 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,182 posts, read 9,221,015 times
Reputation: 4716
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyFoxSeaton View Post
I often find the people who take my BP wrong. If I go to a minute clinic they are wrong, sometimes they even can't "find" it. I have a nurse at work and this nurse is a real nurse and he can't take my BP worth a darn. According to him I am ALL over the place. One time 150//90 one time 110/60. I have stopped going to him because he is so useless.

But typically my doctors office is ok -- usually consistent.

So the last 4 times I went to the doctor my BP came back high with a consistent creep up. I became a little concerned and when today's reading back high... 129/83 (I am normally 110/70) for the 4th time over a year... I mentioned it to my doctor. Tests show that I am heading into menopause so... that is when BP can start creeping up.

So my doctor takes the BP. 106/72. She took it a second time and it was 110/70. I trust my doctor so I am happy with that. She suggested that maybe I had just come up the stairs when I had it done the first time but.. no, EVERY time I have my BP done I have just come up the stairs and it had been a lot lower.

I just think that various providers don't know how to take it. How can I monitor it if I can't get an accurate read?

Frustrated.
These are no abnormal readings. Crossing your legs can change your blood pressure. Being irritated can change your blood pressure. Your arm position can change your blood pressure. It would completely abnormal to have two readings in a row match, that's why hospital patients are hooked-up to machines and have their BP checked every 15 or 30 minutes, because it will change constantly. I was recently in the hospital with low blood pressure, and when I was laying in the bed, flat, it would 100/60, and if I sat up I would pass out cold because it was dropping to 50/30. I had to spend the night and they literally checked it every 15 minutes, and every single reading all night long was different.
 
Old 04-13-2018, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
27,425 posts, read 17,619,243 times
Reputation: 39904
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarie123 View Post
These are no abnormal readings. Crossing your legs can change your blood pressure. Being irritated can change your blood pressure. Your arm position can change your blood pressure. It would completely abnormal to have two readings in a row match, that's why hospital patients are hooked-up to machines and have their BP checked every 15 or 30 minutes, because it will change constantly. I was recently in the hospital with low blood pressure, and when I was laying in the bed, flat, it would 100/60, and if I sat up I would pass out cold because it was dropping to 50/30. I had to spend the night and they literally checked it every 15 minutes, and every single reading all night long was different.

Argh, I'm getting the same problem though not as bad. I keep blacking out/getting faint when I stand. Yesterday's reading was 90/69 which isn't horrible, but I REALLY think I need to reduce my BP med.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:10 PM
 
1,063 posts, read 322,840 times
Reputation: 1423
BP machines that don't control your arm height to be at heart level are inaccurate. Omron brand is touted worldwide as the most accurate by Cardiologists and Valve experts.

There are 1,001 wrong ways to take BP and it is important to take BP in a controlled setting where your feet are firmly planted on the ground, you are not speaking and you have been resting for at least 5 minutes. Your BP will be elevated if you drink caffeine, artificially low if you drink alcohol prior to taking it, etc. There are a million reasons for BP to be too high or low. I am willing to wager a high reading at home given perfect technique and conditions should be more alarming to you than a high reading in the Doctor's office.

Since BP can be volatile and change to accommodate the requirements of the body to get blood in a certain place at a certain time, this is why it is important to take at home when relaxed preferably at the same time in the morning.

Put your feet firmly on the ground, empty your bladder and be well rested. Do not drink caffeine until you take the reading. Take 3 readings maybe 2-3 minutes apart, preferably in the morning before activity has started. Maybe breath consciously but at normal depth and pace as much as possible.

In my opinion - All other BP readings are INNACURATE and should be taken with a grain of salt. The only proper way for a Doctor to take a BP reading is using a manual reader that he pumps, your left arm should be held at heart level and you should be quiet. If a Doctor takes your BP wrong (90%) I would question any other advice he gives you as a Medical professional. Most Nurses in my experience cannot take BP properly.

With the way most Medical professionals take BP these days I am surprised EVERYONE is not on HBP meds. The reality is - HBP and Cholesterol meds are utterly useless and they DO NOT solve the underlying problem. If your BP is truly high unless you have a history of severe brain strokes or aneurysms don't even think about BP meds and that is after your neck arteries have been examined and an MRI and/or CAT scan.

You are looking to protect your kidneys, brain and heart. When the EKG is normal below age 40-45, kidney sonogram looks alright and no unexplained side effects of suspected constricted blood vessels in the brain - The choice should always be to adjust diet and 90% of the time you are consuming some stimulant which is artificially increasing your BP. For me this was simple: Caffeine.

Ensure magnesium levels are optimal - That being said it is impossible to measure tissue magnesium. Blood electrolyte levels will remain consistent in 90% of cases unless we are talking end stage renal disease. A Doctor cannot tell you if you are low on Mag unless you have muscle twitches, and even then it could be low Potassium as well.

Lastly, BP is just ONE thing to look at, differential diagnosis is CRITICAL. If your Doctor is not examining the full picture fire him or her and get a new one. I have fired MANY Doctors and I am still alive today despite being told numerous times my BP is 300/200 and I will die TODAY (10 years ago) if I do not immediately start taking BP meds. I was told this by a Nurse (I am being SERIOUS) at the age of 20. The Doctor pulled her aside and said something (probably along the lines of "You're an idiot") but calmly explained to me this BP is impossible in any mammal and it was taken incorrectly.

Now it in fact WAS high at the time but artificially due to energy drinks. It is a shame that there is so much misinformation about BP and it's place in the diagnosis process. It has become useless due to improper technique.
 
Old 04-13-2018, 12:28 PM
 
18,756 posts, read 6,129,215 times
Reputation: 12657
Quote:
Originally Posted by MechaMan View Post
BP machines that don't control your arm height to be at heart level are inaccurate. Omron brand is touted worldwide as the most accurate by Cardiologists and Valve experts.

There are 1,001 wrong ways to take BP and it is important to take BP in a controlled setting where your feet are firmly planted on the ground, you are not speaking and you have been resting for at least 5 minutes. Your BP will be elevated if you drink caffeine, artificially low if you drink alcohol prior to taking it, etc. There are a million reasons for BP to be too high or low. I am willing to wager a high reading at home given perfect technique and conditions should be more alarming to you than a high reading in the Doctor's office.

Since BP can be volatile and change to accommodate the requirements of the body to get blood in a certain place at a certain time, this is why it is important to take at home when relaxed preferably at the same time in the morning.

Put your feet firmly on the ground, empty your bladder and be well rested. Do not drink caffeine until you take the reading. Take 3 readings maybe 2-3 minutes apart, preferably in the morning before activity has started. Maybe breath consciously but at normal depth and pace as much as possible.

In my opinion - All other BP readings are INNACURATE and should be taken with a grain of salt. The only proper way for a Doctor to take a BP reading is using a manual reader that he pumps, your left arm should be held at heart level and you should be quiet. If a Doctor takes your BP wrong (90%) I would question any other advice he gives you as a Medical professional. Most Nurses in my experience cannot take BP properly.

With the way most Medical professionals take BP these days I am surprised EVERYONE is not on HBP meds. The reality is - HBP and Cholesterol meds are utterly useless and they DO NOT solve the underlying problem. If your BP is truly high unless you have a history of severe brain strokes or aneurysms don't even think about BP meds and that is after your neck arteries have been examined and an MRI and/or CAT scan.

You are looking to protect your kidneys, brain and heart. When the EKG is normal below age 40-45, kidney sonogram looks alright and no unexplained side effects of suspected constricted blood vessels in the brain - The choice should always be to adjust diet and 90% of the time you are consuming some stimulant which is artificially increasing your BP. For me this was simple: Caffeine.

Ensure magnesium levels are optimal - That being said it is impossible to measure tissue magnesium. Blood electrolyte levels will remain consistent in 90% of cases unless we are talking end stage renal disease. A Doctor cannot tell you if you are low on Mag unless you have muscle twitches, and even then it could be low Potassium as well.

Lastly, BP is just ONE thing to look at, differential diagnosis is CRITICAL. If your Doctor is not examining the full picture fire him or her and get a new one. I have fired MANY Doctors and I am still alive today despite being told numerous times my BP is 300/200 and I will die TODAY (10 years ago) if I do not immediately start taking BP meds. I was told this by a Nurse (I am being SERIOUS) at the age of 20. The Doctor pulled her aside and said something (probably along the lines of "You're an idiot") but calmly explained to me this BP is impossible in any mammal and it was taken incorrectly.

Now it in fact WAS high at the time but artificially due to energy drinks. It is a shame that there is so much misinformation about BP and it's place in the diagnosis process. It has become useless due to improper technique.
You Said It, and I have to agree with so much you have written. jam
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