SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure measurement. A general practice doctor monitors blood pressure of an elderly man. The equipment used is a sphygmomanometer. An inflatable cuff (blue) is placed around the upper arm; it is connected to a graduated mercury column (attached to the wall). The cuff is then inflated to exert pressure on the brachial artery and stop the blood flow. The pressure is then released, and by listening to the pulse with a stethoscope it is possible to measure the systolic and diastolic pressures of the pumping and relaxed heart. These pressures are read off the scale in millimetres of mercury. Blood pressure is a measure of bodily health.
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