Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Low Red Blood Cell Count BP Checks

If you have anemia it is important to learn how monitor your blood pressure at home.

Taking your Blood Pressure
A number of devices are available for home blood pressure measurement. Digital blood pressure devices are easy to use: they automatically calculate the pulse and display the systolic and diastolic pressures. However, a simple blood pressure cuff with a stethoscope is the most accurate way to measure blood pressure.

Tips for Obtaining an Accurate Blood Pressure

  • Remain seated or lying flat with the arm supported at heart level.
  • No smoking or caffeine for 30 minutes prior to measurement.
  • Rest for 5 minutes before taking your blood pressure.
  • The blood pressure air bladder should nearly encircle the arm: persons with large arms may require an extra large adult cuff. Cuffs are usually marked to indicate the acceptable size range.
  • Apply cuff 1/2 inch above elbow crease.
  • Locate brachial pulse and place the stethoscope bell at this location.
  • With the valve closed, pump up cuff bulb to approximately 210 mm Hg, or a point where no sounds are heard through the stethoscope.
  • Open the valve slowly (2-3 mm Hg per second) and listen for the point where the tapping sounds are first heard. The corresponding reading on the dial is the systolic pressure.
  • Then, listen for the point where the tapping sounds stop. The corresponding reading on the dial is the diastolic pressure.
  • Perform two more readings per session, separated by 5 minutes.
  • The blood pressure must be elevated during at least 3 separate sessions to diagnose hypertension.

Systolic Pressure Guideline for Adults
Systolic Blood PressureAssessment
Over 140-159Hypertension Stage 1
160 or higherHypertension Stage 2

Diastolic Pressure Guideline for Adults
Diastolic Blood PressureAssessment
Below 80Normal
90-99Hypertension Stage 1
100 or higherHypertension Stage 2

Continue to Low Red Blood Cell Count Pulse Checks

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Low Red Blood Cell Count References
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  2. Bain BJ. Pathogenesis and pathophysiology of anemia in HIV infection. Curr Opin Hematol. 1999 Mar;6(2):89-93. [10088638]
  3. Brodsky RA, Jones RJ. Aplastic anaemia. Lancet. 2005 May 7-13;365(9471):1647-56. [15885298]
  4. Kuriyan M, Carson JL. Anemia and clinical outcomes. Anesthesiol Clin North America. 2005 Jun;23(2):315-25, vii. [15922903]
  5. Williams MD, Wheby MS: Anemia in pregnancy. Med Clin North Am 1992 May; 76(3): 631-47. [1578961]
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