ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure measurement. Woman having her blood pressure taken by a nurse. Blood pressure is measured using a sphygmomanometer. The nurse is listening to the woman's blood flow with a stethoscope. The black arm cuff is inflated by a pump in the nurse's hand until blood flow stops. Next the cuff is relaxed until some blood flow resumes. The reading on the blood pressure gauge (centre left) at this point corresponds to the systolic pressure, which occurs when the heart is beating. The diastolic pressure, when the heart is relaxed, is taken by deflating the cuff until the blood flows smoothly. Blood pressure is a vital check of overall health.
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