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High & Low Blood Pressure Message Board
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Old 03-21-2005, 08:27 AM   #1
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Looking for answers to this question

Hi,
Anyone have insight to why doctors and nurses take your blood pressure with your feet and arm dangling. I always thought your feet should be on the floor with your arm at heart level. I questioned my doctor today and she replied that yes your feet should be on the floor, but your arm should be comfortably at your side. Whenever I take my blood pressure the way she took it today it is always higher by about 10 points rather than when my arm is at heart level.

 
Old 03-21-2005, 11:04 AM   #2
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Re: Looking for answers to this question

Sherbear,

Congratulations! You deserve a medical degree more than your doctor does!

She is 100% misinformed!


Summarizing from an article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine Jan 6, 2004:

Blood pressure readings taken on arms parallel to the body (i.e. fixed or hanging at patient's side) are up to 10 percent higher than readings taken when arm is perpendicular to the body..[1.e. when the arm is in front of the patient, elbow flexed at heart level at a 90 degree angle.]

*

Get this:.
In one study researchers measured blood pressure in 100 emergency room patients, ages 18 to 88, who were being seen for a symptom that wasnít associated with cardiovascular instability. The patients' blood pressures were measured six times using perpendicular and parallel arm positions while laying, sitting and standing. They found that in the number of seated patients classified with high blood pressure, 22 percent had the arm perpendicular and 41 percent had the arm parallel to the body.....

For more details you can get a free ******** PDF of the article here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_u ids=14706992&dopt=Abstract

zuzu xx

 
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:30 PM   #3
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Re: Looking for answers to this question

Zuzu,
Thank you!! That is exactly what I thought. My doctor is still trying to figure out if I have white-coat or actually have hbp. When the nurse took my bp this morning she let my arm dangle against my side. The numbers where high but that was to be expected since I almost always feel as if I am going to have an anxiety attack at every office visit. I have taken my bp with my cuff at home and have let my arm dangle and then take it the correct way and my numbers are always 10 points higher when I just let my arm dangle. I was sort of upset when she told me it was correct to just let my arm dangle. Now she wants to do a 24 hour ARBP monitor to finally find out if it is white-coat because all my numbers at home are below normal. All I have to say is lets get this thing figured out. I am tired of going to the doctors office every couple of weeks. I do not mind taking meds. if I actually need them. She also spoke about possibly trying me out on a diaretic(I'm not sure of the spelling). Does anyone know anything about that type of med? Thanks!

Last edited by sherbear24; 03-21-2005 at 01:31 PM.

 
Old 03-21-2005, 02:21 PM   #4
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Re: Looking for answers to this question

I JUST read that the new consensus for the PERFECT position is for the body to be reclined but not flat and the arm at a 45 degree angle to the body.
That actually sort of approximates my Lazy-Boy mechanics with my arm upon a pillow (partly to keep the velcro from spreading on the OLD cuff ...I really should put the new one on...recently bought!

Of course that position implies feet off the ground but nicely supported under the calves.

 
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