Shopping for a sphygmomanometer? Read about types, features, and other must-know topics in our best manual blood pressure cuff guide. Find the best blood pressure kit based on our professional blood pressure machine reviews. Read more about which blood pressure monitor for home use that is the best for your specific needs.
Best Sphygmomanometer 2018
Surely, these most blood pressure cuff are not for everyone as some of them carry a hefty price-tag.
With that said, one thing can be said for sure, these home blood pressure monitors are good enough to make it to our list of the top best Sphygmomanometer 2018.
A sphygmomanometer, also known as a blood pressure meter, blood pressure monitor, or blood pressure gauge, is a device used to measure blood pressure, composed of an inflatable cuff to collapse and then release the artery under the cuff in a controlled manner, and a mercury or mechanical manometer to measure the pressure. It is always used in conjunction with a means to determine at what pressure blood flow is just starting, and at what pressure it is unimpeded. Manual sphygmomanometers are used in conjunction with a stethoscope.
A sphygmomanometer consists of an inflatable cuff, a measuring unit (the mercury manometer, or aneroid gauge), and a mechanism for inflation which may be a manually operated bulb and valve or a pump operated electrically.
Both manual and digital meters are currently employed, with different trade-offs in accuracy versus convenience.
A stethoscope is generally required for auscultation (see below). Manual meters are used by trained practitioners, and, while it is possible to obtain a basic reading through palpation alone, this only yields the systolic pressure.
-Mercury sphygmomanometers are considered the gold standard. They show blood pressure by affecting the height of a column of mercury, which does not require recalibration. Because of their accuracy, they are often used in clinical trials of drugs and in clinical evaluations of high-risk patients, including pregnant women.
-Aneroid sphygmomanometers (mechanical types with a dial) are in common use; they may require calibration checks, unlike mercury manometers. Aneroid sphygmomanometers are considered safer than mercury sphygmomanometers, although inexpensive ones are less accurate. A major cause of departure from calibration is mechanical jarring. Aneroids mounted on walls or stands are not susceptible to this particular problem.
Digital meters employ oscillometric measurements and electronic calculations rather than auscultation. They may use manual or automatic inflation, but both types are electronic, easy to operate without training, and can be used in noisy environments. They measure systolic and diastolic pressures by oscillometric detection, employing either deformable membranes that are measured using differential capacitance, or differential piezoresistance, and they include a microprocessor. They accurately measure mean blood pressure and pulse rate, while systolic and diastolic pressures are obtained less accurately than with manual meters, and calibration is also a concern. Digital oscillometric monitors may not be advisable for some patients, such as those suffering from arteriosclerosis, arrhythmia, preeclampsia, pulsus alternans, and pulsus paradoxus, as their calculations may not correct for these conditions, and in these cases, an analog sphygmomanometer is preferable when used by a trained person. Digital instruments may use a cuff placed, in order of accuracy and inverse order of portability and convenience, around the upper arm, the wrist, or a finger. The oscillometric method of detection used gives blood pressure readings that differ from those determined by auscultation, and vary according to many factors, such as pulse pressure, heart rate and arterial stiffness, although some instruments are claimed also to measure arterial stiffness, and some can detect irregular heartbeats.
In humans, the cuff is normally placed smoothly and snugly around an upper arm, at roughly the same vertical height as the heart while the subject is seated with the arm supported. Other sites of placement depend on species, it may include the flipper or tail. It is essential that the correct size of cuff is selected for the patient. Too small a cuff results in too high a pressure, while too large a cuff results in too low a pressure. For clinical measurements it is usual to measure and record both arms in the initial consultation to determine if the pressure is significantly higher in one arm than the other. A difference of 10 mm Hg may be a sign of coarctation of the aorta. If the arms read differently, the higher reading arm would be used for later readings.The cuff is inflated until the artery is completely occluded.
With a manual instrument, listening with a stethoscope to the brachial artery at the elbow, the examiner slowly releases the pressure in the cuff. As the pressure in the cuffs falls, a “whooshing” or pounding sound is heard when blood flow first starts again in the artery. The pressure at which this sound began is noted and recorded as the systolic blood pressure. The cuff pressure is further released until the sound can no longer be heard. This is recorded as the diastolic blood pressure. In noisy environments where auscultation is impossible (such as the scenes often encountered in emergency medicine), systolic blood pressure alone may be read by releasing the pressure until a radial pulse is palpated (felt). In veterinary medicine, auscultation is rarely of use, and palpation or visualization of pulse distal to the sphygmomanometer is used to detect systolic pressure.
Digital instruments use a cuff which may be placed, according to the instrument, around the upper arm, wrist, or a finger, in all cases elevated to the same height as the heart. They inflate the cuff and gradually reduce the pressure in the same way as a manual meter, and measure blood pressures by the oscillometric method.
The Pros and Cons of Sphygmomanometer
There are many medical instruments that can be used to determine the status of a person’s blood pressure. One of them is the sphygmomanometer. This is among the most basic medical instruments being used for measuring BP level. Also known as pressure meter, this equipment is often available in two types – the manometric and the digital. The digital sphygmomanometer is among the latest technology being used in determining the blood pressure level. It consists of a conventional arm cuff and a compact high sensitivity pneumatic pressure sensor that rapidly detects and converts the patient’s BP and then encodes the result to digital signals. The blood pressure reading that the BP apparatus obtains from the patient is displayed on a biometric monitor or the small screen provided along with the cuff. The digital sphygmomanometer is a portable device and very easy to operate. Many of today’s medical equipment sales stores are now offering this kind of BP apparatus online.
The aneroid type of sphygmomanometer on the other hand is the old-fashioned blood pressure measuring device and until now, it is still widely available in the market. This type of BP instrument features two important BP devices and these are inflatable cuff intended to resist blood flow and a mercury or mechanical manometer used to gauge the pressure. But aside from these two important components of aneroid sphygmomanometer, there are also other equipments needed in order to make blood pressure device function. These include the inflation bulb and valve that are connected to the inflation cuff via a rubber tube and the stethoscope, which is very essential for manual sphygmomanometer.
The sphygmomanometer that comes with a mercury manometer is not as handy as the digital ones. But more medical practitioners still choose to use the pressure measuring device designed with mercury manometer over the digital ones because it cannot be recalibrated thus, the BP readings are consistently accurate.