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Which type of Blood Pressure Cuff do you use - electronic or manual?


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Short answer: Electronic; manual if B/P cuff has a questionable fit or reading.

 

Facility dependent; operator dependent as well. I once watched a tech put a large cuff on a 98 lb elderly woman, and a normal cuff on a 300 lb man with arms the size of my leg- that's going to give you a misread. As long as the machine is working correctly and the cuff is matched to the patient, most of the ones I've worked with have been very accurate.

 

J

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As an EMT, Manual is the standard as andersenpa stated, as automated tends to be at least 10 points higher and that is using the proper cuff. Granted, this is in the field and hospital machines may be a bit better.

 

There is definitely something to be said about taking a blood pressure and hearing it thru your own ears! That's the way you are taught. I think automated is useful when there may be too much auxiliary noise going on or things are a bit..... chaotic!!

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In our family practice office, we use both the manual cuff plus an automated wrist cuff. The manual in most cases is our gold standard, but for questionable ones (or ones in which the patient refuses to admit is accurate) we will also cross check with the automated. We also use the automated on particularly large people who would normally require a thigh cuff... as we only have large adult, regular, and child cuff available. The automated tends to run pretty close to the manual.. within say, 6 points systolic and diastolic. We often have patients bring in their automated cuffs to calibrate to ours... there is a wide variance. Some brands are very close... Omron is a good one... other brands can be off as much as 20 points!!!

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I was recently in the ED as a patient and that electronic one hurt. It squeezed my arm so tight I thought the machine had broke, then it stopped for the longest time before it sloooooowly let go of the pressure. Ouch!!!! I'm going with manual.

 

I have to do a manual on a good portion of our elderly patients for this reason. I am getting fed up with the automatic ones; ours are absolutely intent on inflating to 220-260 on a patient who has a typical B/P of around 110/70. No matter how many times I dial down the setting for the max inflation to be 180, they go overboard.

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We use autos here in the clinic... we used to have manual back-up but the cuff went missing...

 

I found that out last week when I asked for a repeat BP...

 

I also found out at that point that one of our MAs didn't know how to do a manual...

 

After I picked my jaw up off the floor we had some remediation... that is after I brought my cuff in from the truck...

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