Verify that you have the right cuff size.
1.A standard size blood pressure cuff purchased from a drugstore will fit around the arm of most adults. However, if you have an especially narrow or wide arm, or if you plan to take the blood pressure of a child, you may need a different size.
Check the size of a cuff before buying it. Look at the "index" line. This is the range line on the cuff that tells you if it fits
2. Once it is on the patient's arm it will tell you whether or not the circumference of your arm fits within the "range" area of the cuff.
If you do not use the proper cuff size, you may end up with an inaccurate measurement.
Avoid factors that can increase blood pressure. Certain conditions can cause blood pressure to spike temporarily. In order to get an accurate measurement, you or your patient should avoid these conditions before taking your blood pressure.
Factors that can affect blood pressure include: stress, smoking, exercise, cold temperatures, a full stomach, a full bladder, caffeine, and some medications.
Blood pressure can change throughout the course of the day. If you need to check the patient's blood pressure regularly, try to do so at the same approximate time each day.
Find a quiet place. You will need to listen your, or your patient's heartbeat, so a quiet setting is ideal. A quiet room is also a calm room, so someone who rests in a quiet room while checking his or her blood pressure is more likely to feel relaxed, rather than stressed. Therefore you are more likely to get an accurate reading.
Get comfortable. Since physical stress can affect a blood pressure reading, you or the patient whose reading you take, should get comfortable. For example, use the bathroom before you have your blood pressure taken. It's also a good idea to keep yourself warm. Find a warm room, or if the room is chilly, wear an extra layer of clothing to keep warm.
In addition, if you have a headache or body ache, try to reduce or relieve the pain before taking your blood pressure.
Remove tight sleeves. Roll up your left sleeve or, better yet, change into a shirt that exposes your upper arm. Blood pressure should be measured from the left arm, so the sleeve should be removed from the upper left arm.
Rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Resting will assure that your heart rate and blood pressure have the chance to stabilize before the measurement is taken.
Find a comfortable and appropriate location to take your blood pressure. Sit in a chair next to a table. Rest your left forearm on the table. Position your left arm so that it rests at about heart level. Keep the palm of your hand facing up.
Sit up straight. Your back should be against the back of the chair and your legs should be uncrossed.