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Positioning The Blood Pressure Cuff

- May 14, 2018 -

1.Locate your pulse.Place your index and middle fingers over the inside center of your inner elbow. When you press lightly you should be able to feel the pulse of your brachial artery from this position.

If you have difficultly locating your pulse, place the head of the stethoscope (the round piece at the end of the tube) in the same general area and listen until you can hear your heartbeat.

2.Wrap the cuff around your arm. Tuck the cuff end through the metal loop and slide it onto your upper arm. The cuff should be roughly 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the bend of your elbow and should be evenly tight around your arm.

Make sure that your skin is not pinched by the cuff as you wrap it securely. The cuff should have heavy duty velcro on it, which will hold the cuff closed.

3.Check the tightness of the cuff by slipping two fingertips underneath. If you can wiggle the two fingertips under the top edge but cannot wedge your full fingers beneath the cuff, the cuff is tight enough. If you can wedge your full fingers under the cuff then you need to open up the cuff and pull it tighter before closing it again.

4.Slide the head of the stethoscope under the cuff. The head should be face down, with the wide part of the chest piece in contact with the skin. It should be positioned directly over the pulse of your brachial artery that you found earlier.

Also place the stethoscope earpieces in your ears. The earpieces should face forward and point toward the tip of your nose.

5.Position the gauge and the pump. The gauge needs to be positioned where you can see it.[4] Hold the gauge lightly in the palm of your left hand if taking your own blood pressure. If taking someone else's blood pressure, you can hold the gauge in whatever position you want as long as you can see the face of the gauge clearly. You should hold the pump in your right hand.

Turn the screw on the pump bulb clockwise to close the airflow valve, if necessary.

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