Are you looking to purchase a traditional aneroid sphygmomanometer, more commonly referred to as the manual blood pressure cuff? Some people suggest the evidence clearly substantiates automated blood pressure readings are frequently inaccurate. Whatever your choice is, I commend you in your decision to monitor your blood pressure at home. To help you choose the right sphygmomanometer here is some background on 3 companies I chose as my top picks.
Welch Allyn is a leading manufacturer of monitoring systems. In business over 100 years, this American based business produces many blood pressure products that can be found in hospitals and physician offices. American Diagnostic Corporation (ADC) is based in Hauppauge, New York, and has been in business for 35 years. ADC is one of the world’s premier manufacturers of diagnostic medical products, instruments and accessories for the healthcare industry. ParaMed has been providing home care and wellness solutions across Canada for the past 45 years.
Welch Allyn is more associated with medical facilities while ADC is known for facilities and in the home because of a broader selection of home products. Many people who want to save money will end choosing something like the ParaMed sphygmomanometer, which is very capable of getting the job done.
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These Are The Top 3 Aneroid Sphygmomanometers
- Welch Allyn DuraShock DS44 (click to check the current price)on Amazon – Compare Price on Ebay: Welch Allyn is highly reliable and comes with a durable, 2 piece, adult size cuff. The gauge rotates 360 degrees for easy viewing from any angle. The gauge snaps directly into the cuff for quick cuff changes.
- ADC 700 (click to check the current price)on Amazon – Compare Price on Ebay: The ADC is just as reliable as the Welch Allyn. The chrome plated precision crafted manometer with the luminescent dial and bold numerals sets this sphygmomanometer apart from the rest. You also have the choice of picking from 6 different size cuffs prior to ordering.
- ParaMed Aneroid Sphygmomanometer (click to check the current price)on Amazon – Compare Price on Ebay: This is a highly popular budget option and has a ton of positive reviews. I like the zinc alloy manometer body and the nylon storage bag.
Why I Picked The ADC Diagnostix 700 Aneroid Sphygmomanometer
After physically checking both Sphygmomanometers and finishing my research I liked the ADC over the Welch Allyn mainly due to the luminescent manometer and cuff choices.
- ADC products are high quality and used by professionals. The ambulance crews that responds to the healthcare facility where I’m employed use ADC sphygmomanometers.
- The ADC Diagnostix 700 gives you a choice of 6 different cuff sizes. Depending on the size picked there’s 11 different colors to choose from.
- The ADC Diagnostix 700 comes with a chrome plated manometer and has a luminescent dial that’s attractive and easy to read in any light.
- The ADC Diasgnostix 700 has a filter screen which protects the valve from dust build up.
- The ADC Diagnostix 700 comes with a storage bag. It doesn’t improve the quality, but it’s nice to have for travel or home storage which protects the gauge.
Here’s A Nice Clip Of The ADC 700 Series And It’s Features
Features To Look For In A Quality Sphygmomanometer
- Clinical-grade technology and accuracy: When it comes to something as serious as blood pressure, the accuracy of your blood pressure readings are extremely important.
- Accessories: It’s nice when a sphygmomanometer comes with extras that are not normally included. Such items can include a carry bag for travel, extra arm cuffs.
- Cuff Size: Make sure the cuff being used is the right fit for your arm size.
- Cuff: A durable cuff for quick and convenient patient fitting. In addition, there should be an inflation warranty. The cuffs should have markings for proper placement.
- Gauge: A easy dial to read with bold numbers and easy to see markings. In addition, the manometer should be calibrated and include free recalibrations.
Some sphygmomanometers come as a kit with a stethoscope included. From my experience many of these kits come with lesser quality stethoscopes. I bought a kit in the past and was unhappy with the stethoscope and needed to buy one anyone. These kits cost extra money and are not worth it for a low quality stethoscope you’re going to replace anyway. Check out my recommendations for stethoscopes in this same website right here.
How Take Your Blood Pressure With a Sphygmomanometer
Taking your blood pressure at home with a manual cuff is not easy and takes some practice. If you follow these steps, you will be able to master it over time. If you are visually or hearing impaired you probably won’t be able to do it. If for some reason you don’t think you can do this or prefer an automatic blood pressure monitor, check out the ones I recommend right here.
- Wrap the blood pressure cuff around your upper arm one inch above the bend of your elbow. Place it tight enough so that you can only slip 2 fingertips under the edge of the cuff.
- Place the stethoscope around your neck.
- Position the meter so that you can easily read the gauge without straining.
- Place the stethoscope into your ears and position the bell of the stethoscope over your brachial artery. Partially tuck the bell under the cuff directly over the brachial artery.
- Tighten the valve on the side of the bulb. Then squeeze the bulb rapidly several times to inflate the cuff. Make sure your skin doesn’t pinch when it is inflating. Continue inflating the cuff until you reach about 180 mm of pressure or 20-30 points above your last reading.
- Open the valve slowly to release the air from the cuff. Let the pressure fall 2 mm. (lines) on the dial per second.
- Note the number on the meter when you first hear the sound and the number on the meter when the sound goes away.
- Record both numbers. The first number is your systolic blood pressure (upper BP number) and the second number is your diastolic blood pressure.
- Rest quietly and wait about two minutes before taking another measurement.
Here’s A Short Video Clip Showing the Steps Above
Home Blood Pressure Monitor Tips
Before taking your blood pressure at home make sure you follow these important tips. Proper technique is critical for obtaining blood pressure readings you can trust at home and accurate.
- Make sure your cuff size is right for the size of your arm. Measure your arm using a cloth tape measure. Place it on your upper arm between your elbow and shoulder. Evenly wrap the tape around the circumference of your upper arm. The tape should be secure but not too loose or too tight. Compare your measurement to the cuff size range of your monitor.
- Don’t smoke or drink caffeinated beverages or exercise within 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure.
- Make sure you have 5 minutes of quiet rest before measuring and empty your bladder.
- Don’t take blood pressure measurements over clothes.
- It’s best to sit in an upright position, back straight and supported like in a dinning room chair and not on a sofa.
- Your feet should be flat on the floor, and your legs should be uncrossed.
- Your arm should be supported by a flat surface such as a table or arm rest with your upper arm at heart level.
- Place the cuff directly above the bend of the elbow. You can check your blood pressure monitor instructions for pictures.
- Take your blood pressure readings the same time every day such as morning or night and take your readings daily.
- Every time you take your blood pressure readings, take 2 or 3 of them one to two minutes apart and record all your results.
Check out my other recommended blood pressure products that may help you: