TEK IMAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TEK IMAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure gauge, also known as a sphygmomanometer. A cuff (black) is inflated around the patient's arm (right). Blood flow is restricted as the cuff is inflated. The doctor (left) listens to the sound of blood pumping through the inside of the elbow. When no more blood sounds can be heard the cuff is slowly deflated. The first reading is taken as the sound of blood flow returns. The second reading is taken as blood flow returns to normal once more. These readings make up the patients blood pressure and are expressed in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). Abnormally high blood pressure can lead to health problems such as a stroke and heart failure.
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