Tips for having your Blood Pressure Taken

  • Don’t drink coffee or smoke cigarettes 30 minutes before having your blood pressure measured.
  • Before the test, sit for five minutes with your back supported and your feet flat on the ground. Rest your arm on a table at the level of your heart.
  • Wear short sleeves so your arm is exposed.
  • Go to the bathroom prior to the reading. A full bladder can change your blood pressure reading.
  • Get two readings, taken at least two minutes apart, and average the results.
  • Ask the doctor or nurse to tell you the blood pressure reading in numbers.
  • What device can I use to take my own blood pressure?
  • Tests at home can be done with the familiar blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope, or with an electronic monitor, such as a digital readout monitor. Also, be sure that the person who will use the device reads the instructions before taking blood pressure readings. Your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can help you check the device and teach you how to use it. You also may ask for their help in choosing the right one for you. Blood pressure devices can be bought at various places, such as discount chain stores and pharmacies.
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