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Blood pressure measurement. Instrument used to measure blood pressure, or sphygmomanometer. It consists of a mercury pressure gauge (at left), and a cuff which can be inflated by a pump (at top centre) when wrapped around a patient's arm. The arm cuff is inflated until blood flow is stopped in a main artery. By slowly deflating the cuff and listening for the return of blood flow, the blood pressure during a heartbeat (systolic pressure) is recorded. Further cuff deflation gives the blood pressure between heartbeats (diastolic pressure). Blood pressure is then expressed as a difference between these two measurements, in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg).
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