HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MACHINES
Blood Pressure abnormality is a cardiovascular risk factor, as such, it’s treatment is very important and this brings the needs for blood pressure machines. As a result, Blood pressure measurement is one of the Vital signs used by medical practitioners as indicators of health.
This, without a doubt, has increased the manufacture of “BLOOD PRESSURE MACHINES”. These machines are designed to help clinicians monitor patients’ blood volume, the pumping efficiency of the heart, and the resistance of the peripheral vasculature.
Depending on how they are configured, Blood Pressure machines vary in their technique.
In the past, Blood Pressure was measured Non-Invasive, using Auscultatory Technique, (korotkoff sounds), with the pressure in the cuff measured using a mercury Sphygmomanometer.
This consequently became, and is still the “Gold Standard”. However, environmental concerns regarding mercury meant that there was no long-term future for these machines.
These concerns have led to the impositions of bans in some European countries and supply in the UK is now restricted to health care use.
Meanwhile, Automated Blood Pressure Measuring Machines, many of which use Oscillometric measuring technique has become increasingly popular, because of their ease of use.
It is therefore advised that consideration is given to the selection of mercury-free products when the opportunity arises. But then again, “Automated Blood Pressure Machines” also have limitations users need to be aware of.
As stated earlier, Blood pressure Machines vary in the type of technique, traditionally, the commonest Blood Pressure Machines were configured to perform, Manually, using the “Auscultatory Technique”.
The majority of this technique depends on inflating an upper arm cuff to the brachial artery and then listening to the korotkoff sounds through a stethoscope with the cuff slowly deflated.
The patient’s systolic and diastolic blood pressure record is taken from the sphygmomanometer.
Machine for use with the manual auscultatory technique are:
-Mercury Sphygmomanometer; This includes a mercury pressure gauge, an upper arm cuff and a hand inflation bulb with a pressure control valve, requires the use of a stethoscope to listen to korotkoff resonate.
-Aneroid Sphygmomanometer; This is, just like the mercury sphygmomanometer, with an aneroid gauge replacing the mercury manometer. Aneroid may be wall or desk mounted or attached to the hand bulb.
-Electronic Sphygmomanometer; As mentioned above, with a pressure sensor and electronic display replacing the mercury manometer. The display could also be a numerical display or a circular or linear bar chart.
Nowadays, the majority of the Blood Pressure Machines available are automated, and they use the oscillometric technique.
This technique relies on the detection of variations in pressure oscillations due to arterial wall movement beneath an occluding cuff.
Empirically derived algorithms are used and its calculate systolic mean arterial and diastolic blood pressure.
Machines using the oscillometric technique are;
-Automated (stop-check) machines:- This comes with an electronic monitor with a pressure sensor, a digital display, and an upper arm cuff. An electronically driven pump raises the pressure in the cuff.
These machines, sometimes, have a user adjustable set inflation pressure, and they may automatically inflate to the appropriate level, usually about 30mmhg above an estimated systolic reading when started the machines automatically inflates then deflates the cuff and displays the majority calculates these values during the deflation cycle, but there are some that use data from the inflation cycle.
The pulse rate may also be displayed these machines may also have a “memory” facility which stores measurement and previous readings.
-Wrist machines:- this includes an electronic monitor with a pressure sensor, an electronically driven pump attached to a wrist cuff. Its function is similar to the automated stop check machine above.
-Finger machines:- this is a battery powered machine and uses oscillometric pulse wave or plethysmographic method for measurement.
-Stop-check non-invasive blood pressure machines:- this is designed for routine clinical assessment.
-Automated cycling non –invasive blood pressure machine:- designed for bed-side monitoring in a clinical environment where repetitive monitoring of patients and alarm function is required.
-Multi-parameter monitors:- these redesigned for use in critical care wards and operating theaters and monitors a range of vital signs including blood pressure.
-Ambulatory blood pressure machine:- this is a programmed machine, designed to take a record of the patient’s blood pressure at a pre-defined interval over a 24- hour period during normal activities and store data gotten for future analysis.
Conclusion on high blood pressure machines
In summary, apparently, technological advancement has led to the development of new and better methods.
Also the falling cost of these newly introduced machines together with the improved reliability of aneroid machines and the introduction of the manual electronic sphygmomanometer, there has been a reduction in the use of mercury sphygmomanometer.
However, mercury sphygmomanometers are still been used in some undeveloped countries, therefore, appropriate health and safety procedures should be maintained with the availability of mercury spillage kits.