Hypertension (HTN) or high blood pressure, sometimes called arterial hypertension, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. This requires the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels. Blood pressure is summarized by two measurements, systolic and diastolic, which depend on whether the heart muscle is contracting (systole) or relaxed between beats (diastole) and equate to a maximum and minimum pressure, respectively. Normal blood pressure at rest is within the range of 100-140 mmHg systolic (top reading) and 60-90 mmHg diastolic (bottom reading). High blood pressure is said to be present if it is persistently at or above 140/90 mmHg.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is home monitoring of blood pressure so important?Because blood pressure can fluctuate, home monitoring and recording of blood pressure readings can provide your healthcare provider with valuable information to determine whether you really have high blood pressure and, if you do, whether your treatment plan is working.
What is Irregular Heartbeat?This is a condition where the heartbeat rhythm varies by more than 25% from the average heartbeat detected while your unit is measuring the systolic and diastolic pressure. Many Vivocare/Plusmed Blood Pressure Monitors have an irregular heartbeat detector. If such an irregular rhythm is detected more than twice during measurement, the irregular heartbeat symbol appears on the display.If this happens frequently during blood pressure measurement it is recommended that you discuss this with a healthcare professional.
What should I do before checking my blood pressure?Always test your left arm.Relax in this position 15 minutes before your measurement for the most precise results.It is also important to note that your posture during a blood pressure measurement is a crucial factor. Sit in a location where you may comfortably support your back. If possible, rest your left arm on a platform which allows your elbow to remain on the same level as your heart for the duration of the measurement.
The most important period of time to be aware of is 30 minutes before a blood pressure measurement is attempted. During this period of time it is important to avoid eating, drinking alcohol, drinking caffeinated beverages, exercising or smoking. These factors trigger variations in an individual's heart rate which will yield inaccurate results.
Small details have the ability to influence blood pressure measurements; for instance, do not talk while attempting a blood pressure measurement.
Avoid measuring your blood pressure during times of mental or physical stress; these factors will cause a change in your natural heart rate.
How can I check if the arm cuff is too tight or too loose?A proper cuff fitting is necessary for an accurate blood pressure reading. To ensure a proper fit the user must first select a properly sized cuff. When the correct cuff has been selected it is recommended that the following directions be followed in placing the cuff.
- Make sure you have removed any tight fitting clothing from your left arm.
- Put your left arm through the cuff loop. Be sure to measure the circumference of your arm halfway in between your elbow and shoulder.
- Turn your arm so your palm is facing upward.
- Adjust the cuff around your arm so that the tubing runs down the center of your arm.
- Secure the cuff so that it stays in place. You should be able to place one finger in between the cuff and your arm; a crucial detail to an accurate reading. It is important to note that the periodic replacement of the cuff will be necessary when indicated by the monitor.
How often do Plusmed Blood Pressure Monitors require calibration?In accordance with international standards we recommend that you ask your authorised Trimpeks to perform a measurement check every two years.
When the cuff deflates, I get an error message. What does this mean?An error message (EE) can appear for various reasons:
- Incorrect cuff placement
Refer to your Instruction Manual for proper cuff positioning.
- Movement or talking during measurement
During a measurement you should be seated quietly and comfortably, and not speak. Refer to your Quick Reference Guide for steps to follow for accurate measurements.
- Over or under inflation of cuff
The cuff should be inflated to approximately 30 to 40 mmHg above your average systolic pressure. For example, if your blood pressure is normally 120/80, you should inflate the cuff to approximately 150 to 160 mmHg.
- Not waiting long enough between subsequent measurements
If you need to retake a reading, wait at least 5 minutes to allow your circulation to return to normal.