The one graphic you need for accurate blood pressure reading

AMA Wire
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Blood pressure measurement is a routine task in most practices, but are you sure it’s done accurately in yours? It’s easy to get skewed results if clinicians and patients aren’t on the same page about how to take accurate blood pressure measurements. This infographic offers a simple way to help your patients and practice get the most accurate results.

More ways to improve

Observe National High Blood Pressure Education Month by sharing this infographic on Facebook or Twitter with your practice team and patients so they understand how seemingly minor factors can affect their blood pressure measurements.

In particular, take note of May 7, the Measure Up/Pressure Down National Day of Action when the health care community is making a concerted effort to raise awareness about hypertension control.

Here are some additional resources to help you improve your practice’s hypertension management:

Watch AMA Wire® in the coming weeks for information about how to implement self-measured blood pressure monitoring for patients, which can up your chances of getting patients under control.

Why you should take action

The number of hypertension-related deaths in the United States increased by 66 percent over the past decade, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all other causes combined increased only 3.5 percent during that period.

The AMA’s Improving Health Outcomes initiative is taking steps to reverse this trend.

Through this initiative, the AMA and participating physicians and care teams are working with researchers at the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and the Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities to develop and test evidence-based blood pressure recommendations and provide practical tools for physician practices.

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Comments

1. Suggest that information be provided regarding circadian variations; take BP early am and again in the evening in order to clarify the individual's tendency to higher blood pressure in the early morning or in the evening<br/> <br/> 2. Standing blood pressure monitoring is also appropriate for some individuals - especially when meds have been changed.<br/> <br/> (We might also acknowledge that a sitting BP taken at mid day in the medical office just might not be as reliable / accurate as we would like to presume.)<br/> <br/> Hooray for encouraging home BP monitoring. I think that a home system should be on the first Rx provided by the physician when diagnosing hypertension. <br/> <br/> Earl S Rhind, MD
Blood Pressure measuring tips accurately are here 7,among all the cross legged position shows increase the BP of 4-8 mm/hg that is not same in previous edition of AMA profile of BP,but the fact shows no increase in cross-leged position.
It's easy to say "have people take their own bp at home" but it doesn't work. I tried for 20 years to get people to take their own blood pressure at home and even offered to loan a sphygmomanometer but no one was interested. You can lead the horse to water, etc.<br/> <br/> VincentRMoloney MD
I think you are missing one of the most important problems with blood pressure measurement, which is the speed with which the cuff is deflated when measuring the pressure. I have frequently seen it deflated so fast that a heart rate of 60 would have 10-20 mm Hg drop in cuff pressure between beats. This creates a very significant inaccuracy in the measurement.
I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Wareham about the speed of deflation. I have retaken BPs many times after a nurse took it, and found many discrepancies, usually I get a slightly higher reading (using an aneroid sphygmomanometer). I am aware of the whitecoat phenomenon, so I don't wear one. I explain to my residents the concept of impedance as it relates to the interface between bell and cloth and bell and skin. I presume the bell, rather than the diaphragm, is still considered the better device.
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