Welcome to our blood pressure pages. On this page we present an explanation of blood pressure cuffs, how to take blood pressure and links to our practice drills and case studies.
A blood pressure cuff is used to take blood pressure. The cuff has an inflatable rubber bladder that is fastened around the arm. A pressure meter indicates the cuff's pressure. A small, handheld air pump inflates the blood pressure cuff. After the cuff has been inflated, an air valve is used to slowly release air pressure. As the pressure is released, a stethoscope is used to listen to arterial blood flow sounds.
The heart's beating pushes blood through the arteries causing a rise and fall of arterial pressure. The highest pressure is called systolic pressure and is followed by a decrease in pressure. This low blood pressure point is called the diastolic pressure.
When taking blood pressure, a stethoscope is positioned to listened to blood flow turbulence. The cuff is initially inflated well above expected systolic pressure. At this time, blood flow is stopped. No sounds are heard with the stethoscope. As the value is opened, pressure slowly diminishes. When the cuff's pressure equals the arterial systolic pressure, blood begins to flow past the cuff. This creates blood flow turbulence and can be heard with the stethoscope. When these sounds are initially heard, the doctor or nurse makes a note of the cuff's air pressure value. As the cuff's air is continued to be released, the blood turbulence sounds continue to be heard. When the cuff's air pressure falls below the patient's arterial diastolic pressure, the sounds stop. This pressure when the blood flow sounds stop indicates the diastolic pressure.
There are mercury, aneroid (a mechanical dial) and digital blood pressure cuffs. Digital cuffs are automated while mercury and aneroid cuffs are used manually with a stethoscope.
Use the following link to learn more about measuring blood pressure and hypertension.High Blood Pressure - Hypertension Guides
We provide case-based training for measuring blood pressure using our simulator. The table of contents can be used to select a case.
Use this link for a simplified practice drill.
|Cases Related To Blood Pressure - Part I
This course will teach you how to obtain blood pressure readings, heart and lung sounds, patient history and test results in order to establish a diagnosis and a treatment plan. The cases presented involve hypertension (high blood pressure), hypotension (low blood pressure), elevation of only systolic or diastolic pressures. Clinical conditions which are associated with hypertensive and hypotensive conditions are included among the cases.
|1||40-year-old man with headaches and shortness of breath|
|2||45-year-old woman with headache and facial swelling|
|3||A 50-year-old man with weight loss, fatigue, weakness...|
|4||A 65-year-old woman with a two-hour history of chest pain and dizziness.|
|5||A 54-year-old man is brought to the emergency room from his doctor's office.|
|6||A 45-year-old man complains of shortness of breath with exertion.|
|7||Ten-year-old girl brought to office by mother.|
|8||A 60-year-old woman enters emergency room after a recent fainting episode.|
|9||A 45-year-old woman complains of a two-month history of fast heart rate and palpitations.|
|10||A 75-year-old woman complains of lethargy ...|
|Cases Related To Blood Pressure - Part II
Continuing from Part 1, this course provides lessons regarding how to obtain blood pressure readings, heart and lung sounds, patient history and test results in order to establish a diagnosis and a treatment plan. The cases presented involve hypotension (low blood pressure), hypertension (high blood pressure) and cases concerning elevation of only systolic or diastolic pressures. Clinical conditions which are associated with hypertensive and hypotensive conditions are included among the cases.
|1||Fifty-year-old male in emergency room complains of dizziness and headache of two hour duration.|
|2||Male patient 30 years-of-age is seen in emergency room for frontal headache, sweating and palpitations.|
|3||47-year-old male with severe left calf pain|
|4||A 50-year-old woman with infected cut on hand|
|5||A 75-year-old man brought to emergency room after fainting|
|6||78-year-old male with shortness of breath with exertion and general fatigue.|
|7||65-year-old woman referred by internist for blood pressure elevation.|
|8||A 50-year-old woman has a fainting episode standing in her home.|
|9||A 50-year-old woman complains of headaches, dizziness and blurred vision.|
|10||A 75-year-old man with shortness of breath and chest pain on exertion|
|High Blood Pressure in Children Drill
These drills build assessment skills by simulating blood pressure measurement by auscultation. Users will also practice evaluation of hypertension using the NIH's classification tables for children. We recommend downloading the 'Pocket Guide to Blood Pressure Measurement in Children', National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH, using the following link: A Pocket Guide to Blood Pressure Measurement in Children