Blood pressure measurement

Blood pressure measurement

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Credit: MICHAEL DONNE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Blood pressure measurement. Boy having his blood pressure measured. He is being comforted by his mother. A general practice (GP) doctor is using a stethoscope to listen to the boy's elbow pulse. The dial (bottom left) is used to read the pressure in the inflatable cuff on the boy's upper arm. The whole device is collectively called a sphygmomanometer. The inflated cuff temporarily cuts off the blood flow. As it is deflated, 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. Blood pressure is an important indicator of health.

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