Measuring blood pressure

Measuring blood pressure

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Credit: ADAM GAULT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: MODEL RELEASED. Measuring blood pressure. Doctor removing an inflatable cuff from the upper arm of an overweight patient. The cuff is part of a digital sphygmomanometer. The machine has a digital display (lower left). As the cuff is inflated, it temporarily cuts off the blood flow in the patient's arm. As it deflates, pulsing blood flow resumes and a reading of the systolic pressure is taken. As the cuff is further deflated, smooth blood flow resumes and the diastolic pressure is recorded. This patient's blood pressure is 114/70 millimetres of mercury (systolic/diastolic). This is lower than average, but still within normal limits. Blood pressure is an important indicator of health.

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