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Blood pressure gauge. Device used to measure blood pressure in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). This gauge, called a sphygmomanometer, uses an inflatable cuff around the upper arm (not seen). The cuff is inflated using a pump (lower left centre) until blood flow in the arm stops. The cuff is then gradually deflated until pulsing blood flow is heard through a stethoscope (centre). The reading on the blood pressure gauge at this point is the systolic pressure, which occurs during a heartbeat. The diastolic pressure, when the heart is relaxed, is taken by deflating the cuff until blood flows smoothly. Blood pressure is an important measure of health.
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