SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure. General practice doctor measures blood pressure of an elderly man, using a digital sphygmomanometer. An inflatable cuff (grey) is placed around the upper arm; the cuff is connected to a digital electronic device. An old style sphygmomanometer with mercury column is seen on the wall. The cuff is inflated exerting pressure on the brachial artery to stop blood flow in the arm. The pressure is then released and the systolic (139) and diastolic (75) pressures of the pumping and relaxed heart are taken. These are read in millimetres of mercury. Although blood pressure fluctuates over the day, it is an important measure of bodily health.
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