A blood pressure (Bp) monitor (medical term: sphygmomanometer) is a device that is commonly used to read the pressure of blood circulating round a living creature, most often humans.
The device will always consist of a cuff that squeezes and releases an artery in a controlled manner and a mechanism in which to measure the pressure. The pressure can be measured manually using a stethoscope (slightly more accurate but requiring a higher skill level from the operator and often used in medical settings) or a mercury manometer (pressure recording device).
The mercury manometer is called an automatic blood pressure machine and can be easily purchased over the counter for use at home.
A blood pressure monitor will involve a cuff being placed around the person’s arm. Once in position, the cuff is inflated (either manually or digitally) to put pressure on the arteries underneath.
Once the pressure is released, the systolic and diastolic readings are both taken (the pressure of the blood when the heart contracts and the pressure of the blood when the heart is between beats).
The readings can either be taken by a person using a stethoscope placed just under the cuff at the site of the brachial artery at the elbow or digitally via a machine.
A home blood pressure machine is designed to be used by anybody who would like to keep track of their own blood pressure or that of somebody else, for example an elderly relative.
Common reasons for carrying out a regular blood pressure check include a health condition that requires regular monitoring of the blood pressure or reports of a high blood pressure from your doctor that requires regular data collecting.
A blood pressure test is quick and easy to perform and is therefore convenient for most people to carry out whether at home or away from home.
Other people that may benefit from the use of a home blood pressure machine include athletes who wish to monitor themselves during training and those that are required to care for somebody as part of their day to day activities.
Depending on the specification, the price of a blood pressure monitor can vary greatly. At the lower end of the scale, a cheap blood pressure monitor can be purchased for around £10.
This would consist of very simple design and likely be intended for infrequent use.
At the opposite end of the scale, some blood pressure machines can be on the market for upwards of £1000. However, these will be intended for use in medical settings and are not necessarily required for home use.
A standard yet reliable Bp monitor, suitable for use at home yet accurate in the readings it provides, can usually be purchased for between £25 and £150.
This would be the first question to ask when purchasing a blood pressure machine for use at home. A manual blood pressure monitor requires somebody else to take the measurement and this person must be competent with the use of a stethoscope so is not a good choice for use away from the medical setting.
For most people, a quick reading of blood pressure and heart rate will be all that is required and all models of a Bp machine should provide this. Some people may require a more detailed analysis of their heart rate and machines can now be purchased that offer an analysis of heart rate over period of time.
a cheap blood pressure monitor for sale should be reliable for consistent daily use. However, some people require more frequent monitoring, for example every half an hour whilst out and about and in this instance it will be worth paying slightly more for a more durable model.
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