Since the new blood pressure guidelines were released, more and more medical experts are recommending to measure your blood pressure at home. If you are using a home monitor I give you a high five. Monitoring your blood pressure at home has so many benefits (r). To make the most of those benefits, the accuracy of your monitor is extremely important and knowing when to replace your monitor is crucial.
How often should you replace your blood pressure monitor? You should replace your home blood pressure monitor when it’s no longer accurate. The accuracy can be checked at your physician’s office. While some people have been using their machines for 10-12 years, the company warranty typically is 2-3 years.
This article will inform you how to make sure your monitor is and stays accurate. In addition, I’ll let you know how to get your home monitor calibrated when it’s no longer accurate or if you should buy a new machine. Every new blood pressure monitor comes with a warranty, I’ll inform you how long they are and typically what’s covered. It’s also possible you’re getting false blood pressure readings with an accurate monitor, preventing these mistakes can save you many headaches and frustrations.
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How Often You Should Replace A Home Blood Pressure Monitor
Your monitor should be replaced when it’s no longer giving you accurate readings. I know some people who have their monitors for 10 and 12 years and are still getting accurate results. Minus some bells and whistles that come with newer machines, my friends don’t see any reason to buy a new one. There’s no need to when their current old faithful continues giving them what they really need, accuracy.
All home monitors should be checked for accuracy, even the brand new ones. When buying a new machine, if it’s possible, try timing the purchase right before a scheduled doctor’s appointment. Take the new monitor with you and have the doctor or nurse check it for accuracy by comparing the readings to their standard office device (r). Every year after, take it with you and have it checked at the physician.
Slight differences in the readings are normal. As long as the difference between your monitor and the doctor is not too far apart, your machine is accurate. The following is the 3 home monitors I recommend and the accuracy the company claims the machine has.
Welch Allyn: The Welch Allyn 1700 Series Home Monitor claims to have an accuracy within +/- 3mmHg and a pulse value +/-4%.
Omron: The Omron Series 10 Home Blood Pressure Monitor claims to have an accuracy within +/- 3mmHg and a pulse value of +/-5%
Greater Goods: The Greater Goods Blood Pressure Monitor claims to have an accuracy within +/- 3mmHg and a pulse value +/- 5%.
If the measurements of your machine is consistently more than +/-3mmHg, I would consider replacing your monitor or having it sent for calibration. This is especially true if it’s under warranty. Keep reading below to find out how to have your monitor calibrated.
How To Calibrate A Home Blood Pressure Monitor
Before replacing your blood pressure monitor, you may want to consider having it calibrated before replacing it. If it’s still under warranty, you’ll definitely want to contact the manufacturer of your monitor and have it serviced. While it’s under warranty, they will typically perform this service for free. For more information on warranties, read the next section of this blog post.
To have your blood pressure monitor calibrated, visit your company’s website and go to the service & support section and click on the appropriate links. If you need some guidance, you can call your company’s customer support telephone number and be guided by what they tell you.
I highly recommend having a calibration or repair performed by the manufacturer of your monitor. Having your monitor serviced by the company that made it helps quicken the repair time. This gets your monitor back to you as soon as possible so there’s little interruption in your home monitoring routine.
Companies like Welch Allyn, offers advanced support services, especially if your device is still under warranty. Under certain circumstances, they provide loaner devices and expedited repair services. This allows you to continue your home monitoring even when your machine is being serviced.
Home Blood Pressure Monitor Warranty Periods
Every new home monitor comes with a warranty. Having a decent warranty and registering your product will lessen the number of times you should replace your blood pressure monitor. The following are the basic warranties offered from the monitor I recommend.
The major difference between all three of them is Welch Allyn covers calibration (perform in accordance with manufacturer specifications). Greater Goods does not state that and Omron states calibration is not covered. This is one of the reasons why I have this Welch Allyn Monitor myself and pick it above the three.
Welch Allyn 1700 Series
2 year warranty. Welch Allyn will warranty your monitor to be free of defects, material and workmanship and to perform in accordance with manufacturer specifications for the 2 year period from the date of purchase. The warranty does not cover damage by accidents, shipping, maintenance against the instructions or repair by anyone not authorized by Welch Allyn.
The following is not covered:
- Shipping cost to return the device.
Omron 10 Series
3 Year Warranty. The proper construction, workmanship and materials is guaranteed by Omron.
The following is not covered:
- Calibration service.
- Transport costs and risks of transport.
- Repairs done by unauthorized persons.
- Optional parts or other attachments.
- Accidents or misuse.
- Periodic check-ups and maintenance.
2 Year warranty. Your monitor is warrantied by Greater Goods against defects in materials and workmanship from 2 years from the original purchaser from the date of purchase. The warranty is void if the product has been subjected to mechanical damage or mistreatment, such as immersion.
Causes Of False Blood Pressure Readings
False blood pressure readings can make you feel your device is not up to par and causes you to want to replace your blood pressure monitor. I once knew someone who swore their monitor, which was only 1 year old, was defective. They wasted a lot of time on the phone and sending their device back to the manufacturer, only to find out there was nothing wrong with their monitor.
What was wrong, was how that person was taking their blood pressure which was resulting in false readings. The things mentioned below are crucial for achieving accurate readings and keeping your blood pressure goals on the right track (r). I have a blog post dedicated to this topic alone and goes into complete detail on each reason listed below. You can read that post right here.
The following are possible reasons why you may get a false blood pressure reading:
- A cuff wrapped too tight or loose around the arm.
- A cuff that is too big or too small.
- Putting the cuff in the wrong location on your arm.
- Placing the cuff around clothing and not on your bare skin.
- Having your body in the wrong position when taking your pressure.
- Failure to average 2-3 readings and relying on one measurement only.
- Using a monitor that is inaccurate.
In addition, the following are mistakes many people make when taking their blood pressure (r). These mistakes are not false readings. They are things you should not be doing that gives you a pressure reading that doesn’t accurately reflect your BP throughout the day.
- Within 30 minutes of taking your blood pressure you smoke, drink caffeine or exercise.
- Taking your blood pressure when your body needs to urinate or relieve itself. This causes unnecessary stress.
- Not staying calm when taking your pressure like talking or watching the news.
- Have quiet time 5 minutes prior to taking your pressure.
If you found this Blood Pressure topic interesting check out these related blood pressure articles also found in this same website:
- How To Take Your Blood Pressure With A Wrist Cuff
- Home Blood Pressure Monitors – Things To Know
- How To Use A Home Blood Pressure Monitor The Right Way