The human heart creates a pressure within the circulatory system every time it beats. This pressure pushes blood through the body so the tissues and organs can receive the oxygen they need. Some people experience periods where their blood pressure is too high or too low. When blood pressure is outside of its normal range, serious physiological issues can follow. Keeping our blood pressure at a normal level is an important part of keeping our bodies functioning properly.
There are many automatic machines that make measuring blood pressure simple, but not everyone has access to them. If a machine isn’t available, it is possible to measure blood pressure manually. The individual performing the measurements should place the cuff around the bicep. Rest the arm on a level surface with the palm facing upwards. Inflate the cuff until the dial reads 20 to 30 mm Hg above the normal blood pressure level. Then, place a stethoscope into the crease of the elbow, on the inside of the arm. The person listening to the stethoscope is listening for the whooshing noise of blood flowing. Once detected, look at the dial and record the number. When the noise ends, record that number as well. The first number is diastolic and the second number is systolic blood pressure.
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