ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure measurement. General practice doctor taking the blood pressure of an elderly woman using a sphygmomanometer. He is listening to her blood flow using a stethoscope. The black cuff is inflated around her upper arm until it stops the flow of blood in the main artery. The pressure is reduced until pulsing blood flow resumes. This pressure, the systolic pressure caused by the pumping heart, is recorded from the gauge at centre. The cuff is then deflated until smooth blood flow resumes, giving the diastolic pressure of the relaxed heart between pumps. Blood pressure is an important measure of health.
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