Force and Pressure


A sphygmomanometer is a medical gadget. It is useful for measuring blood pressure. It is also popular as blood pressure monitor, blood pressure gauge, or even as blood pressure meter. This device can determine the blood pressure by measuring the force of the heart for moving blood. It is useful to monitor the vital signs, mainly the blood pressure, heart rate and its rhythm. It is also applicable to hear the heart sounds and breathe sounds.

Suitable blood pressure cuffs for the sphygmomanometers can be utilized to get accurate blood pressure values. This word sphygmomanometer was put together from some Greek words. These are “sphygmos” means the beating of the heart or the pulse with “manometer” means the device for measuring pressure or tension. This article will give detailed information about Sphygmomanometer and its usages.


Introduction to Sphygmomanometer

This is an important medical instrument to measure blood pressure. It is computing force of blood due to heart, to determine someone’s blood pressure. Accurate results are possible when the ventricles contract. Due to this, when blood flows from the centre to other body parts, we may measure the minimal forces with a relaxed heart.

Actually, a sphygmomanometer is one of the first equipment of doctor that is in use for diagnosing patients. It is an essential tool always available in the hospital. It is very helpful to detect diseases in the body. Checking of the blood pressure is necessary for controlling hypertension and also to monitor the effectiveness of medications. The sphygmomanometer is including the parts like an inflatable cuff, a handle bump, and the display unit. Its inflatable cuff is the one which doctors use to wrap the upper part of the arm of the patient.

For the results to be accurate, many factors are there for consideration. For example, the cuff size should be proportional to the arm size of the patient. Some people may require the use of individual-sized cuffs.

Types of Sphygmomanometer

There are three different types of sphygmomanometers are in use in the medical field. These are:

  1. Mercury
  2. Aneroid,
  3. Digital

Measuring the blood pressure by auscultation is treated as the gold standard by the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH. The Sphygmomanometer, instrument for measuring blood pressure. The electronic and manual both are popular in use. Electronic blood pressure monitors are working in the automatic mode and it provides the digital display of the measurement. Manual unit is more reliable in terms of doctor’s belief.

Its digital version is easy to read and use. Thus anyone can use it for measuring the blood pressure. Whereas the manual sphygmomanometer needs a stethoscope with trained medical practitioners to use it. Blood pressure values can be read in mm Hg by observing the mercury column level in the manual version.

Sphygmomanometer may be used at home if someone is knowing its handling. It will be helpful to monitor the health status of family members. Using it at home will definitely help the people to look after their lifestyle by controlling their blood pressure. Schools are using the sphygmomanometer for educational purposes. Doctors receive proper training for the proper use of medical instruments. Also, it is useful during the illness of the students during school hours. Nurses record the readings so that doctors can access them for proper treatments.

The sphygmomanometer is mainly found and used in the hospital. This device is calibrated annually in hospitals. Many experienced practitioners may give accurate readings in comparison to any other place.

Usages of Sphygmomanometer

  1. Measuring blood pressure:

The most significant applications of the sphygmomanometer are to measure blood pressure. It is also useful to measure for veterinary purposes. It means, it is not only useful for humans alone but also in animals. Veterinary doctors are using this device to diagnose the animals.

  1. Monitoring the effectiveness of medications:

Doctors are using the sphygmomanometer to monitor the effectiveness of the drugs on the patients. It is containing two types of readings, which are systolic and the diastolic. The systolic reading is the upper number. Whereas the denominator represents the diastolic.

  1. Helps to control hypertension:

Hypertension is a condition caused by high blood pressure. Hypertension is a serious condition, which may cause a stroke, heart attack, or even death. The most top causative factors of such hypertension include diabetes and smoking tobacco. The doctor uses the sphygmomanometer to control hypertension. It will help both doctors and patients to understand the required action.

  1. Helps to detect the various diseases:

High blood pressure may result in the underlying illness. Doctors may detect the underlying illnesses using the data collected through the sphygmomanometer. Blood pressure is always among the first thing to be checked and hence monitored during the medical check-up. Doctors can easily detect the disease by looking at blood pressure readings.

  1. First aid in ambulances:

During the emergencies, doctors are using a sphygmomanometer to perform the diagnosis. Its readings are helping them to administer a valid first aid immediately. It also helps them to find out which victim needs more attention and the type of first aid treatment. Some may also predict the amount of blood a victim is losing at the moment.

  1. Research work:

Big research organizations like WHO is using sphygmomanometer for medical research purposes. The new medicines are being tested in animals like rabbits, mice, or pigs. Sphygmomanometer enables the research people to understand the kind of effects of the medicine can be seen on humans. Researchers are measuring animal blood pressure when coming up with new drugs for them.


Q.1. Which sphygmomanometer is more accurate?

Solution: One recent study has demonstrated that aneroid sphygmomanometer is providing accurate readings. The automated devices in their ability to measure both the systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Actually, diastolic accuracy is particularly improved up to 98.7% accuracy through the aneroid device. Whereas the digital device is having  67.7%.

Q.2: How many types of BP are there?

Solution: There are two types of blood pressure readings. These are Systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic reading refers to the pressure inside our arteries while our heart is pumping. Whereas the diastolic pressure is the pressure inside our arteries while our heart is resting between the beats.

Q.3: Who has invented the high blood pressure?

Solution: The modern history of hypertension starts with an understanding of the cardiovascular system. It was based on the work of physician William Harvey during 1578–1657. He described the circulation of blood in his famous book. Also, the English clergyman Stephen Hales has made the first published measurement of blood pressure in the year 1733.

Q.4: Is manual BP more reliable and accurate as compared to the machine?

Solution: When measured by some trained professional then the manual instrument will produce accurate results. At present, home digital BP monitors are very accurate, but still, these do have limitations.

Q.5: Generally doctors recommend which blood pressure monitor?

Solution: After many rounds of research and testing, the Beurer BM55 is the best device for the BP monitor. But, still, recommend the A&D UA-767F as a good option. Now doctors suggest the Omron Evolv for those people who want a smart blood pressure monitor. This device may sync to an app through Bluetooth.

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