CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure measurement. Obese elderly woman having her blood pressure taken by a female doctor. Blood pressure is measured using a sphygmomanometer, while the doctor listens to the woman's blood flow with a stethoscope. The black arm cuff is inflated by a pump (lower left) until blood flow stops. Next the cuff is relaxed until some blood flow resumes. The reading on the blood pressure gauge (on the wall) 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 to measure pressure between heartbeats.
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