MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure measurement. Woman taking her own blood pressure using a hand-held sphygmomanometer. The purple arm cuff is inflated until blood flow stops. Next the cuff is relaxed until some blood flow resumes. The reading on the blood pressure gauge the woman is holding 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 an important measure of health.
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