SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sphygmomanometer. Illustration of Riva-Rocci's sphygmomanometer of 1896 being used on an arm to measure blood pressure. The armband (at upper left) was inflated by a hand pump (at lower right). The pressure in the armband was measured by a mercury pressure gauge (at centre). The armband was inflated until it prevented blood from flowing through the arm. The pressure was then slowly released until a pulse could be felt in the patient's wrist. The armband pressure at this point gives the patient's blood pressure. Scipione Riva-Rocci was an Italian physician. His design was an improvement as the broad armband exerted a more consistent and reliable pressure.
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