BSIP, ASTIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, ASTIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure measurement. Sphygmomanometer cuff and pressure gauge (red) on an elderly patient's arm during blood pressure measurement. A stethoscope (near the elbow) is being used to listen to blood flow in the arm. The black cuff is inflated around the upper arm until it stops the flow of blood in the main artery. The pressure is reduced until pulsing blood flow resumes. This pressure reading is the systolic pressure caused by the pumping heart. The cuff is then deflated until smooth blood flow resumes, giving the diastolic pressure of the relaxed heart between pumps. Abnormally high pressure (hypertension) can lead to heart failure and kidney damage.
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