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How To Use BP Apparatus - Blood Pressure Meter Sphygmomanometer

Updated on March 5, 2013
Keep Tabs on your Blood Pressure
Keep Tabs on your Blood Pressure | Source

If you have the slightest doubts that you have high blood pressure, you must take immediate action. Monitoring your blood pressure on a daily basis is the first step.

In this hub I will explain how to use the manual blood pressure monitor sphygmomanometer.

The most popular blood pressure measuring machine remains the mercury based manual blood pressure monitor, the sphygmomanometer. This machine works on a hydraulic system of mercury that moves up a meter when you compress your arm.

  1. Keep the machine on a plain surface. A side table or settee should work ideally.
  2. Open the lid of the blood pressure meter and make it perpendicular to the lower portion.
  3. At the bottom of the machine you will find a small steel lever. This is the lock that holds the mercury in place when the sphygmomanometer is not in use and prevents it from breaking up. Unlock this lever to release the mercury, which will rise just a wee bit in its channel.
  4. If the rubber pipe has been detached from the blood pressure cuff, attach the ends to connect the BP cuff to the pressure strap on one end, and the BP apparatus on the other.
  5. Strap on the blood pressure cuff to your left arm (preferably) just about half an inch above your elbow. Alternatively you could even use your right arm – there is no hard and fast rule.
  6. In case of the strap having a Velcro, all you need to do is to stick the two opposing ends. In case a hook is there, just tuck in the clip on one edge.
  7. Keep the pressure light. You should feel just a slight pressure on your arm, so be careful you do not strap it on too tight.

Noting the Readings

Having setup your blood pressure monitor sphygmomanometer, here's what you need to do to actually get the readings.

  1. Now take the stethoscope and stick the listening ends into your ears. Now stick the other end into the strap. Insert it between the strap and your arm, with the sensitive side facing your arm. Try listening for a slight throbbing sound.
  2. Make sure you are in a quiet environment, so you can listen when the beat of the blood is audible.
  3. Next you have to pump in the air into the strap, for which you will use the bulb. Before starting pumping, make sure the little screw next to the bulb is tight, or else the air you are trying to pump will escape.
  4. Now begin pumping the bulb, and continue till the mercury reading goes to about 30 mm above the suspected Diastolic pressure. You should now be hearing nothing but the sound of silence in the stethoscope.
  5. Now loosen the screw next to the bulb ever so slightly, so the air begins to escape slowly. Listen carefully and keep an eye on the lowering mercury.
  6. At one point you will hear a faint throbbing sound in the stethoscope. This is the sound of your blood beginning to flow in your veins, and will grow slightly louder as the blood flow increases. Note the exact point on the meter when this happens. This is the upper reading of your blood pressure.
  7. As the mercury lowers further, the throbbing sound will grow fainter after a little while. At one point, the throbbing sound will stop altogether. Note the meter reading when this happens –this is the lower reading of your blood pressure.
  8. Repeat the above procedure twice you get three readings, the average of which is your blood pressure for the day.
  9. For the record, carry all three readings to your doctor on your next visit.
  10. Unhook the strap, separate the rubber tubing and roll up everything so it fits back into the box. Before closing the sphygmomanometer, tilt it slightly so the mercury rolls back into the lower end, and lock it in using the steel lever.

Easy, isn't it? Get your very own blood pressure monitor from Amazon to monitor your BP on a regular basis.

If you want to learn how to use the Digital Blood Pressure Monitor instead of the sphygmomanometer, read my hub on using the digital Omron Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

Video: Using the Blood Pressure Monitor


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    • profile image

      clouie mae 

      7 years ago

      duh . oh my god my mom is high blood ! :D Joke im kidding . that's a good work !

    • profile image

      blood pressure machine 

      7 years ago

      I am very happy to read your articles it’s very useful for me, 

      and I am completely satisfied with your website. 

      All comments and articles are very useful and very good.

      Your blog is very attention-grabbing. I am loving all of the in.

      turn you are sharing with each one!….

    • Jasnav profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @mayaanna, Pharmk357,

      The aim of writing this hub is to know enough to look after your own health by using the blood pressure machine yourself. After all, no one can be more worried about your blood pressure that yourself!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hello! ekcecad interesting ekcecad site! I'm really like it! Very, very ekcecad good!

    • mayaanna profile image

      Maya Anna 

      8 years ago from U S

      very nice and informative hubs ..... This type of knowledge must necessary for the every person for emergency .... I love this post...

    • Jasnav profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      @raakachi, dinkan53,

      The aim of the hub was precisely that - to serve as a guide for those wanting to DIY. After all you can't keep running to the doctor every time!

      Thanks for the comments.

    • dinkan53 profile image


      9 years ago from India

      hey, nice work. keep tracking your blood pressure is so important, especially for BP patients. This hub will help those who wanted to be get their BP monitored at home.

    • raakachi profile image


      9 years ago from Madurai / Tamilnadu / India

      Thanks for sharing with us that how could one use a BP apparatus and how it functions!


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