advertisement
09 February 2010

Different cuffs

The size of the cuff does matter.

0

The cuff should always feel comfortable. If you measure your own blood pressure at home, make sure you are using the correct cuff size.

What is it?
During the measurement of your blood pressure, a soft cuff is placed around your bare upper arm. Inside the cuff is a rubbery inflatable bag, often called a bladder. This cuff is then inflated gently to interrupt the bloodflow in your artery.  When the cuff is deflated, blood flows again and can be heard with a stethoscope or recorded by an electronic device.  This depends on the type of measurement tool used.

Size is crucial
In either case, to get a reliable reading, the correct cuff size is essential. Most sphygmomanometers have three different cuff sizes: one for thin arms, one for thicker arms and one for the thickest arms.  80 % of the inflatable bladder inside the cuff should encircle the arm.

Incorrect reading
If an undersized cuff is used, the blood pressure can be overestimated by 10 – 25 mm Hg. Since many hypertensive patients carry excess weight, a larger cuff should always be at hand. Incorrect measurement has health and cost implications.

(Dr Kathleen Coetzee, MBChB)

Read more:
Hypertension and essential fatty acids
Why worry about hypertension?

 
advertisement

Get a quote

advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Strenghten your immunity »

Keep your immunity strong Immune system boosters Boost your family's immunity

5 immune boosters in your kitchen

You don’t need a handful of vitamins and supplements to keep your body healthy, check out these five immune boosting foods you probably already have in your kitchen.

Laugh a little »

Eat yourself happy Laugh more and live longer Laughing yoga the best medicine

The healing power of laughter

A good chuckle doesn't only make you feel happy for a moment, it's beneficial to your health too.