There are guidelines and rules in place on how an accurate blood pressure reading should be taken, and all primary care providers are required to follow them. Firstly, the cuff that is used needs to fit securely, but not be too tight or too loose. If the cuff is too small, it causes a reading that is too high and conversely, if it is too big, the reading may be too low. While the reading is being taken the person’s arm should be held at heart level and should have some gentle support.
Before taking the reading, the person should have been seated quietly for at least five minutes, with their feet resting on the floor in front of them and with their legs uncrossed at the ankles. It is important that they do not have system stimulants like caffeine or tobacco for at least half an hour before taking the reading.
On a first consultation, the person needs to have two readings taken, as a safeguard for accuracy. One reading needs to be taken from each arm, with a two-minute interval between each one. If two different readings emerge, the doctor must follow the higher reading. Medication should not be prescribed until a second follow up appointment or unless the reading is unusually high.
With 68-million people believed to be living with high blood pressure in the United States, and many of them having it and not knowing, the importance of regular, accurate testing should be a priority for all teens and adults. High blood pressure is an independent risk factor for strokes and heart attacks, and can put you at risk of dying from heart disease. For many people, simple lifestyle modifications like healthier eating, avoiding sodium and getting regular, moderate exercise can make a substantial difference to blood pressure levels. For those whose readings are so high that they require medication, Las Vegas medical clinics can provide an accurate testing service and affordable drugs.