EMS Skills – Blood Pressure Measurement

EMS Skills – Blood Pressure Measurement


Taking a patient’s blood
pressure is a necessary part of our patient care. The blood pressure provides us
the ability to treat and trend our patients as long as
it’s taken accurately. Auscultation and palpation
are two of the most common methods used. However, there are a number of
factors we should keep in mind so that our readings
are accurate. The arm must be placed
at heart level. Cuff size is based on a limb
size, so measure the cuff appropriately. Place the cuff over the brachial
artery, keeping the bottom of the cuff one to
one half inches above the bend in the elbow. Insert the stethoscope in your
ears with ear pieces pointing slightly forward. Gently tap on the diaphragm to
assure the stethoscope is positioned correctly. Palpate the brachial artery
and place the bell of the stethoscope over the
brachial artery. Palpate or auscultate the
brachial artery while inflating the cuff to 30
millimeters of mercury above the loss of the pulse. Deflate the cuff at a rate of
two to three millimeters per mercury per second. Too fast or too slow of a
deflation results in missing sounds and inaccurate
readings. The systolic pressure is
recorded when you hear at least two consecutive sounds and
the diastolic pressure is recorded when the sound
becomes muffled. The arm must be placed
at heart level. Cuff size is based on a limb
size, so measure the cuff appropriately. Palpate the brachial artery and
place the cuff over the brachial artery, keeping the
bottom of the cuff one to one and a half inches above
the bend in the elbow. Palpate the brachial or radial
artery while inflating the cuff to 30 millimeters
of mercury above the loss of the pulse. Deflate the cuff at a rate of
two to three millimeters of mercury per second. Too fast or too slow of
a deflation results in inaccurate readings. The systolic pressure is
recorded when you feel the return of the pulse and it’s
recorded as the number over P.