We often see blood pressure monitor booths in pharmacies. While these devices are reliable and useful for getting a quick blood pressure measurement, they are not appropriate for everybody.
In order to measure blood pressure, these units contain an arm cuff attached to a tube in which you must place your arm. In order to get an accurate blood pressure reading, it’s very important for the cuff to be a proper fit for your arm. If the cuff is too small, you will get a reading that is higher than your actual blood pressure, and conversely, if the cuff is too large, your reading will be lower than it should actually be.
The companies that manufacture these monitors usually use a standard-sized cuff. If you know that your doctor usually uses a larger or smaller cuff when taking your blood pressure, the cuffs in drugstore monitors may not be suitable for you. If you’re not sure whether the monitor cuff is right for you, the pharmacist can measure your arm and let you know if you can use the monitor or not.
To ensure that you get a reliable measurement, make sure to also follow the instructions indicated on the monitor panel!