AJ PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY AJ PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Measuring blood pressure. Patient having her blood pressure measured by a doctor. The doctor is using a pump in his right hand to control the pressure in the cuff (blue) around the patient's upper arm. The dial (upper centre) shows the pressure in the cuff. The doctor is also using a stethoscope to monitor the patient's elbow pulse (lower centre). As the cuff is inflated, it cuts off the blood flow. As it is deflated, pulsing blood flow resumes and a reading of the systolic pressure is taken. The cuff is further deflated, until smooth blood flow resumes and the diastolic pressure is recorded. The blood pressure recording equipment is called a sphygmomanometer.
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