What Is A Sphygmomanometer And What Does It Measure?

We all have visited doctors from our early days and the blood pressure device had always been a subject of much curiosity. This blood pressure measuring device is known as the sphygmomanometer. The device consists of a cuff, a bulb for inflation, a pressure gauge and a stethoscope, in some versions at least. Gone are the days when you had to flock to your nearest doctor for regular BP checkup. Nowadays, you have small digital devices that can be worn like a wristwatch and is automated, you can monitor your BP on your own.


Going back to the traditional design of the sphygmomanometer, the use is not as complicated as it may

appear. Firstly, you bind the cuff around your arm, at about the same level as your heart. It is imperative

that the cuff is secured smoothly; neither too tightly nor too loosely as both conditions can hinder

the accuracy of the results. It is advised that the arm is rested and supported fully. The bulb is used

to inflate the cuff until the blood flow is entirely cut off or stopped. The stethoscope’s end should be

kept on the insides of the elbow. Next, the cuff should be allowed to deflate with the aid of the valve.

Listen carefully for any sound. The first onset of the sound marks the systolic or the high pressure. On

the other hand, the last sound establishes the diastolic or the lowest pressure. This is exactly how the

mechanics of the sphygmomanometer is used.

With the rapid innovation in technology, BP measuring device is no longer restricted to the typical

sphygmomanometer. Both the automated and the manual version of sphygmomanometer have its own

set of pros and cons and neither of the two is foolproof. For instance, the manual sphygmomanometer

does not really reveal the best result in highly noisy environments as one has to be very careful about

sound detection. Then it is only better than trained personnel operate the manual version.

In contrast to the manual BP measuring devices, the electronic ones are high on the popularity

ladder. This is because the automated ones can be easily handled by users themselves, are handy

and portable and work to their optimum in all environments. It is worth noting that the electronic

sphygmomanometer does not derive the systolic and diastolic measurements as the manual one

does. It takes mean measurements and states it to the user. There is a huge variety of such automated

sphygmomanometers in the market. Apart from the arm and wrist version, there is a portable finger

one, which is really the smallest version available to everyone. It comes together with automated

inflators but their level of accuracy is something that is debatable.

Blood pressure is a problem that is fast gaining momentum in the current times. Hypertension is now no

longer restricted to certain people as one gets to witness extreme and rare cases on a daily basis now.

For this reason, it is important that one should be familiar with the mechanics of a sphygmomanometer

so that if any urgency arises, a person is able to draw out his reading on his own.

What Is A Sphygmomanometer And What Does It Measure ?