A sphygmomanometer is an instrument used to take measurements of blood pressure. Also, this is popularly known as a BP monitor or meter. It consists of a pressure gauge, a cuff that inflates and encloses the arms to constrict the flow of blood temporarily. A stethoscope is also included with a bulb and a valve. This two are the most important parts of taking a blood pressure. They go hand in hand especially because sphygmomanometer is a manual device that necessitates stethoscope.
How a sphygmomanometer functions
For a sphygmomanometer to function, you need to position the cuff and wrap it around the upper
a portion of the arm, the same level as to where your heart is. Be sure to secure and cuff properly. If you
wrap it too tight, you may experience an increase in your reading, and if you had wrapped it too loose,
it may also result in a possible decrease in the numbers, which means these results are all inaccurate.
Therefore, the appropriate placing of the inflatable cuffs should be strictly followed.
The arms should be correctly supported too. A table can be the best place to lay your arms comfortably.
Now, you can place the stethoscope in your ears and start to inflate the cuff through the bulb. Wait
until the blood flow is put on a halt temporarily. The ends of the stethoscope should be positioned on
the brachial artery on the inside folds of the elbow while gradually and continuously listening to some
throbbing sounds. Sometimes, this sound is also called the “Korotkoff sounds.”
The first sound that you have heard as the pressure sets in is referred to as the systolic pressure. You
must be extra keen in listening to this. Wait until the sound gradually fades, and a silence will soon
follow. Again, observe and listen to this closely; the numbers that are reflected on the monitor will
represent the diastolic pressure. This is how convenient this device works. You can possibly repeat the
procedure twice or thrice to make sure you had gotten the reading properly.
Using the Stethoscope
Generally, the stethoscope is one medical instrument that is being used to listen attentively to any
indistinct sound that is produced inside the body. It is composed of two ear buds associated with a rubber
tube for the listening part. The listening part has two divisions, the other portion is known as the
diaphragm, which is responsible to recognize sharp pitched sounds. The other part is the bell, which
heeds on the deep pitched sounds.
The bell is being used as a link to the sphygmomanometer to take measurements of the blood pressure.
It is found way below the cuff’s bottommost edge. The stethoscope functions efficiently as the
connection on the how the blood pressure is going to be. Therefore, a manual sphygmomanometer
cannot work properly without the stethoscope. It is responsible for accurately detecting and indicating
the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Other BP monitors do not need a stethoscope but are less
efficient and reliable in measuring BPs.