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5 cases when to not measure blood pressure: Cardiologist's advice

5 cases when to not measure blood pressure: Cardiologist's advice Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

There are specific rules for performing any procedure and measurements. This also applies to measuring blood pressure (BP) with a tonometer, and there are a number of certain precautions, according to cardiologist Viktoriia Kutova.

Do not measure after exercise

The doctor advises against measuring blood pressure after physical exertion or consuming stimulants. This is because the intake of stimulants such as coffee, tea, or nicotine can temporarily increase blood pressure.

It is better to measure blood pressure after resting for a few minutes.

Avoid unverified devices

Do not measure blood pressure with unverified devices. Blood pressure devices should be checked and calibrated before use.

Using unverified or damaged devices can lead to inaccurate results.

Skin wounds

Do not measure blood pressure on skin that is damaged or infected. If there are ulcers or wounds on the skin, measuring blood pressure in these areas can be uncomfortable or incorrect.

It is better to choose a healthy area of skin for measurement.

Incorrect cuff size

In addition, do not measure blood pressure with an incorrectly sized cuff. It is important to know that the cuff size for measuring blood pressure should match the circumference of the upper arm, sometimes even conically.

Using the wrong cuff size can lead to inaccurate results. If you are unsure about the cuff size, consult a medical professional.

Do not measure frequently

Also, do not measure blood pressure frequently, as excessive measurement can cause nervous system excitement and increase anxiety, which automatically leads to an increase in pressure.

It is better to measure your blood pressure for several consecutive days in the morning and evening, while at rest, even if you feel fine, and record the data to assess dynamics.

Tips for measuring blood pressure

This should be done in a calm place after 5 minutes of rest, in a sitting position, leaning against the back of a chair, with both feet on the floor.

Do not smoke, drink alcohol, coffee or other caffeine-containing drinks, or engage in intense physical exercise for 30 minutes before measuring blood pressure.

Use a cuff of the appropriate size for measurement: for most people, a standard cuff (width - 12-13 cm, and length - 35 cm) will work.

The cuff should be placed on the shoulder at heart level, 2-3 cm above the elbow bend, with the arm resting freely on the table.

Measure the pressure at least twice with a 1-minute interval and calculate the average reading.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.