Showing posts with label Sphygmomanometer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sphygmomanometer. Show all posts

Jul 2, 2016

Blood Pressure History

In 1628, Dr. Harvey published Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (“On the Movement of the Heart and Blood in Animals”), which was the foundation for work on the circulatory system.

Over 100 years later in 1733, Reverend Stephen Hales recorded the first blood pressure measurement after developing a further understanding of the correlation between the heart and pulse and how it applies to blood pressure and volume.

This new knowledge allowed for the invention of the first sphygmomanometer (blood pressure monitor) in 1881 by Samuel Siegfried Karl Ritter von Basch.

However, it wasn’t until 1905 that Dr. Nikolai Korotkoff discovered the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressures, further improving the sphygmomanometer by using a cuff that could be placed around the arm to provide equal pressure. Korotkoff discovered the varying sounds within the arteries as pressure was applied and released, and this remains the standard of blood pressure measurement to this day.

Here is what the US National Institution of Health says, Blood pressure can identify potential heart disease, stroke, eye problems, or chronic kidney disease.

All adults should have their blood pressure checked:
- Every 2 years if your blood pressure was less than 120/80 mm Hg at the most recent reading.
- Yearly if your last reading was 120 to 139/80 to 89 mm Hg or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems.
Wow, modern medical technology with a silly name and over a hundred years old.

Sep 13, 2013

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is really just that- the pressure at which blood moves around the body in your arteries. The easiest and least invasive way to test the pressure is to momentarily stop the flow of blood and then slowly allow it to begin again. The pressure at which it begins to flow is the highest pressure the blood exerts on your artery walls.

Medical professionals do this by using a blood pressure meter known as a Sphygmomanometer. They encircle a limb, usually an arm, with a balloon-like device known as a blood pressure cuff. While pumping the cuff up, they use a stethoscope to listen for a heart beat past where the cuff is cutting off blood flow. When they no longer hear the heart beating, they slowly release the pressure while watching the pressure gauge.

When they start to hear the heart beat again, this is the top number of blood pressure, known as systolic pressure. They continue to release the pressure until they once again, no longer hear the heart beating, this is the bottom number of blood pressure, known as diastolic pressure. Together these numbers tell them two things: the pressure that is inside arteries between heartbeats (the bottom number) and the pressure inside arteries when the heart squeezes (the top number).

Different disease processes like coronary artery disease can cause higher than normal blood pressure. Lower than normal blood pressures can be a sign of other disease processes, like shock caused by infection. The difference between top and bottom numbers, or a change in that difference, can also point to specific problems like too much fluid around the heart, not allowing it to work properly.

Combining this information with a person’s heart rate can also tell numerous other things that could be happening. If you have been in a car accident and have a lower than normal blood pressure and higher than normal heart rate, you could be bleeding internally. If you were in another car accident and have an extremely high blood pressure and a low heart rate, you could be bleeding in your brain. High blood pressure is not a disease or illness in and of itself. It is merely a symptom for other problems.