Self-measured blood pressure technique: How to take your own blood pressure Before you measure 1. Use a certified, automated device to measure your blood pressure (BP) using your arm (not finger or wrist). 2. Use a cuff that is the right size for your arm. 1 4 3. Do not exercise, smoke, eat a large meal, take decongestants or have caffeine within 30 minutes of measuring your blood pressure. 4. Use the bathroom if you need to, before the measurement. 3 5. Rest for five minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Position yourself correctly 6. 1 Sit in a chair, with your back supported. 2 Sit with your legs uncrossed and feet flat on the floor (or stool). 3 Rest your arm on a table close to heart level. 4 lace the blood pressure cuff over bare skin, on P mid-arm at heart level and just above your elbow. 2 Perform blood pressure measurement 7. Do not talk, text, read, watch TV or use your phone, computer or tablet while measuring your blood pressure. 8. “Power on” the machine and push the start button. When the machine stops, write down the upper and lower BP numbers (systolic and diastolic) if the machine does not store them automatically. Wait one minute and then repeat (some machines will do this automatically). You should always check at least two blood pressure measurements one minute apart and write them down. 4 1 3 2 9. Take your two blood pressure measurements in the morning and two in the evening for one week, and report them to your doctor’s office. Always make sure you know what to do should you have a blood pressure measurement that is outside the pre-determined acceptable range or if you experience any symptoms with a high or low blood pressure measurement, including seeking emergency treatment if appropriate. © 2015 American Medical Association and The Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.
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