Measuring Blood Pressure

When should you take your blood pressure?
  • Check your blood pressure regularly, as directed by your doctor.
  • In the week leading up to your appointment with your doctor, and whenever changes are made to your medication, take 2 readings, twice a day.
  • In the morning, take your blood pressure before breakfast and before taking your medication.
  • At night, take your pressure before taking your medication and before bathing.
Precautions to take before measuring your blood pressure:
  • Wait 2 hours after a big meal.
  • Do not smoke or drink caffeine for 60 minutes before taking your blood pressure.
  • Do not exercice for 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure.
  • Rest and relax for at least 5 minutes.
  • Empty your bladder.
  • Make sure that you have the right size cuff. There are different types of cuffs for children and overweight individuals.
Taking your blood pressure:
  • Sit up straight with your back supported, and your elbow at about the level of your heart with your arm supported on a table.
  • Do not cross your legs. Both feet should be flat on the floor.
  • Place the cuff on your bare arm, pushing sleeves up.
  • Place the tensiometer on the table.
  • Position the cuff above the bend in the elbow and adjust by gently tightening. The tensiometer tubing should point towards the hand, not the shoulder.
  • Place your forearm on the table, palm facing upwards.
  • Follow the instructions for your tensiometer.
  • Record the time, date and readings in your blood pressure monitoring form.

Don't forget to have your monitor calibrated by your pharmacist once a year to make sure that it is in proper working order.

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