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) is holding a dial (lower left) that displays 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. The blood flow is monitored with a stethoscope (not seen). Blood pressure is an important indicator of health.

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