Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blood Pressure Monitors

Which type of blood pressure monitor is recommended to use at home?

High Blood Pressure affects millions of people in the UK increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure.
  • High blood pressure usually has no symptoms.
  • The only way for you to know if you have normal, high or low blood pressure is to have it measured
  • You can measure your blood pressure in your own home ideally with a reliable, accurate blood pressure monitor.
  • The information below is intended to help you make an informed purchase should you decide to buy a machine to use at home.
  • These machines are available to buy online at First Aid Warehouse, Medisave and Amazon
Type of Machines

For ease of use machines can be fully automatic and measure blood pressure correctly on the upper arm at heart level. The readings are given on a digital display and can be stored in the monitor's memory or printed out. There are many different types of machines available however the standards of accuracy may vary. The information on these pages will hopefully help you make an informed decision on your purchase - which machines are best, where to buy them from trusted online stores and how to use the blood pressure monitor correctly.
Sometimes your blood pressure is raised when taken in a clinical or medical environment, such as your doctor’s surgery. This is called white coat hypertension and can be caused by feeling anxious, or by being in a busy or noisy environment. Blood pressure readings taken at home are often lower than those taken at a doctor’s surgery, whether a doctor or a nurse takes them. Readings taken away from the clinic are now seen to give a more accurate picture of your normal blood pressure.
Research published in the British Medical Journal revealed that people who monitor their blood pressure at home have better blood pressure control. The paper, "Blood pressure control by home monitoring.." shows clear evidence that patient involvement in the monitoring of blood pressure brings better results than those monitored solely at their surgery or clinic.

Recommended Blood Pressure Monitors

Staff taking general enquiries at the Blood Pressure Association became aware that increasingly people are measuring their own blood pressure at home, and are keen to know what machines are recommended. There is a wide range of machines available to the public. If you are considering buying a blood pressure monitor it is important that you make an informed purchase, it is worth investigating the quality, types and check prices before you buy a machine for home use.
Details of blood pressure monitors suitable for home use, compiled by the British Hypertension Society (BHS) are available on their Web site you may find it a useful guide when you buy a blood pressure monitor. All of the monitors on this list are digital upper arm monitors and have been through independent testing shown in research to be accurate and are currently available.

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