BSIP LAURENT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP LAURENT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure measurement. Blood pressure being measured on a patient's upper arm with a sphygmomanometer. The cuff around the patient's arm is inflated with a hand pump (at centre) until it stops blood flowing into the arm. The pressure is slowly reduced until the blood flow resumes. At this point the reading corresponds to the pressure during a heartbeat. The cuff is then deflated further until there is a smooth flow of blood, giving the lower pressure that occurs between heartbeats. Blood pressure is a measure of health. Typically a healthy young adult has a reading of 110/75 mmHg where the two pressures are expressed in millimetres of mercury.
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