I've been using the Relion Home blood pressure monitor for the last few months and the results have been good. My wife and I started questioning the accuracy of the unit a few nights ago and we decided to take it in and get it checked against the Dr's readings. Well......now we are totally confused.
It's the model without the self inflator(you have to pump it up yourself), we normally pump it up to about 160-170 and let it do it's work.
Well, here are the results from todays tests.
Drs readings: 90/60 (manually, the old fashioned way)
Relion Monitor reads: 117/78
Can this unit be off this much? Any one else used this monitor? I know this shows that our unit is showing artifically high, but this would mean that my 126/78 readings I have been getting are lower than that, which I dont really think is possible although I certainly hope is the case. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
We have the digital unit that you has the inflation bulb.
I don't have the model that you pump up. I have a ReLion that has automatic inflate.
How variable is your BP from one reading to the next? How much different are the readings if you have been walking around, then take it immediately compared to if you have been resting quietly for five minutes or more? How about if you take a couple of deep breaths between readings? Or if you hear someone say something on an emotionally touchy subject?
My doctor was sure that my monitor was off last month when she looked at my home readings and saw some places where the measurement went up or went down a lot within a couple of minutes. So she asked her nurse to check my monitor against theirs. But the nurse took my pressure with theirs when I had just walked out of the appointment with the doctor and was still totally hyper after disagreeing with the doc. Then she went and did some bookwork for a couple of minutes before coming back to check mine. Well, in the meantime I had had time to calm down a bit and no doubt took a couple of deep breaths. Systolic pressures were 181 and 154, respectively. The nurse said, "Oh, your monitor is off!" Then I went to Wal-Mart and sat there quietly for five minutes before taking my pressure. Systolic was 137.
I went through all kinds of other things to try to test my monitor. I took it to the fire station and had an EMT check it against theirs. I told him I really had to sit quietly for a while to tell. Unfortunately between readings, he said, "Are you having trouble with your blood pressure?" Okay, at that point that question had a lot of emotional content to me, and (no surprise here), my pressure was 14 points higher on their machine. I finally bought another machine, an Omron. I checked them against each other by taking a reading first on one, then the other, with about two minutes between readings. After a series of eight readings on both machines, some of the readings were considerably higher on one, some on the other. But the average was identical on diastolic and only two points different on systolic. I think my original machine was fine. It is just that my BP is very touchy and can change fast.
I've also discovered that I can lower my systolic reading by 12-33 points just by two minutes of deep breathing. I have also lowered it by 10-15 points just by taking two deep breaths.
I guess this is a very long way to say, "Yes, your meter could be that far off, but check out other possibilities, too."
My bp varies greatly. In this case, it was my wife. I think this could be fairly accurate in retrospect. She normally has a bp of 90's/60's on our machine. THats that the Dr. measured it at today. However, our machine read a much higher reading. Could be a fluke. I pray that its accurate because I'm not taking medication based on my home readings.....talk about gambling.
There's nothing sacrosanct about the doctor's reading either. They go deaf at the same rate as the general popultion.
In most hospitals, the digital units are replacing doctor's and nurses ears presumably because the machines are more accurate.
From a mercenary angle, a machine doesn't get a steady income flow if it finds hypertension!
I have white coat hypertension. I have two monitors here at home and they are very close in readings. I bought a second one to make sure the first one was accurate. I have readings taking at work. I will stop in stores and take them. I will also have my dentist or dermatologist or whoever else take it. The readings are always good. But if my family doctor takes it or internist, watch out, it will be high. My point is get readings from different sources. If I just went by my doctor visits I would be on medication, when 99% of the time it's good. Also don't let doctors intimidate you about taking your own readings. I think people should take more control of their own health.
You might invest in a second home monitor. I got a second because I started to get paranoid that maybe my old trusty one was getting to be less trusty. I have no idea what the lifespan of the thing is.
I tried comparing them by taking my bp one right after the other and my bp kept going up and up because I was nervous about it. My bp also fluctuates a lot over short time spans. I checked both monitors on my sweetie who's bp never changes and the results varied by only a couple or 3 points. Now after having had the new monitor for a time, I typically switch off every now and again, a day or 2 using one machine and a day or 2 using the other. My results still fluctuate but there seems to be no bias toward one machine or the other.