how does sphygmomanometer work?

Asked by  | 9th Apr, 2012, 09:59: PM

Expert Answer:

A sphygmomanometer consists of an inflatable cuff, a measuring unit (the mercury manometer or aneroid gauge), and inflation bulb and valve, for manual instruments. Manual sphygmomanometers are used in conjunction with a stethoscope.
In humans, the cuff is normally placed smoothly and snugly around an upper arm, at roughly the same vertical height as the heart while the subject is seated with the arm supported. The cuff is inflated until the artery is completely occluded. Listening with a stethoscope to the brachial artery at the elbow, the examiner slowly releases the pressure in the cuff. As the pressure in the cuffs falls, a whooshing or pounding sound is heard when blood flow first starts again in the artery. The pressure at which this sound began is noted and recorded as the systolic blood pressure. The cuff pressure is further released until the sound can no longer be heard. This is recorded as the diastolic blood pressure.
By observing the mercury in the column while releasing the air pressure with a control valve, one can read the values of the blood pressure in mm Hg. The peak pressure in the arteries during the cardiac cycle is the systolic pressure, and the lowest pressure (at the resting phase of the cardiac cycle) is the diastolic pressure.

Answered by  | 10th Apr, 2012, 09:08: AM

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