SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure measurement. Hands of a general practice doctor hold a digital sphygmomanometer while measuring the blood pressure of an elderly man. An inflatable cuff (grey) is placed around the upper arm of the patient; the cuff is attached to the digital electronic device. The cuff is then 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 off in millimetres of mercury. Although blood pressure fluctuates over the day, it is an important measure of general bodily health.
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