Hypertension. It impacts approximately 103 million American adults.1 Out of this hypertensive population, only 54% have their blood pressure under control—putting them at risk for a heart attack or failure, stroke, and kidney damage.2, 3 The higher your patients’ blood pressure, the greater the risk of experiencing these side effects.
The statistics are alarming, and so is the reality: blood pressure technique is notoriously easy to get wrong. Any of the following can lead to incorrect measurements:4
To correctly diagnose hypertension, you must eliminate or reduce these variables impacting your measurements.
The American Heart Association recently released an updated scientific statement on blood pressure measurement. This new statement supports the use of automated oscillometric devices with blood pressure averaging capabilities instead of manual blood pressure measurements. Specifically, automated oscillometric devices help reduce the “white-coat effect.” They also deliver similar data to ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, which is the standard for out-of-office blood pressure measurement.5, 6
Furthermore, the most important part of gathering accurate blood pressure measurements, regardless of method, is the initial and ongoing training of healthcare providers.5
Proper blood pressure measurement technique can help you achieve correct readings. How can you feel confident in your numbers every time? Follow these steps below to help you collect accurate BP measurements in your practice:5, 7
Prepare your patient by asking them to:
Choose the right blood pressure cuff size and ensure proper placement:
Select the best method:
Record your readings:
Calculate the average:
Share the results with your patient:
Diagnose and initiate treatment:
Encourage your patient to reduce their risk by:
Approximately 103 million American adults are hypertensive.1 To prevent this alarming number from growing, accurate measurements are vital in diagnosing hypertension. Automated oscillometric devices can help you eliminate or reduce inaccurate blood pressure readings by providing helpful features such as BP averaging, EMR connectivity and more.
Check out the infographic below to learn how you can enable earlier diagnosis and treatment of hypertension in your practice.
1. American Heart Association. More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/05/01/more-than-100-million-americans-have-high-blood-pressure-aha-says. Accessed December 4, 2018.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High Blood Pressure. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/index.htm. Accessed July 17, 2019.
3. National Institutes of Health. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. JNC 7 Express. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.
4. Pickering, Thomas G., MD, DPhil, et. al: Recommendations for Blood Pressure Measurement in Humans and Experimental Animals. Circulation. 2005: 111:697-716.
5. Paul Muntner, Daichi Shimbo, Robert M. Carey, Jeanne B. Charleston, Trudy Gaillard, Sanjay Misra, Martin G. Myers, Gbenga Ogedegbe, Joseph E. Schwartz, Raymond R. Townsend, Elaine M. Urbina, Anthony J. Viera, William B. White, Jackson T. Wright Jr, and on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Hypertension; Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention; Council on Clinical Cardiology; and Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research. Measurement of Blood Pressure in Humans: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Doi: 10.1161./HYP.0000000000000087. May 1, 2019.
6. Andreadis, Emmanuel A., Geladari, Charalampia V., Angelopoulos, Epameinondas T., Savva, Florentia S., Georgantoni, Anna I., Papademetriou, Vasilios. Journal of the American Heart Association. Attended and Unattended Automated Office Blood Pressure Measurements Have Better Agreement With Ambulatory Monitoring Than Conventional Office Readings. https://www.ahajournals.org/jaha/doi/10.1161/JAHA.118.008994. June 12, 2019.
7. Target: BP. Measure Accurately. https://targetbp.org/blood-pressure-improvement-program/control-bp/measure-accurately/. June 12, 2019.