Are you sitting on the edge of an exam table, having just rushed into the exam room, legs dangling, as the medical assistant inflates the blood pressure cuff? Unfortunately, this is a very common scenario, and is the WRONG way to check a blood pressure.
When blood pressure is checked improperly, the systolic reading can be up to 14 points higher than the true correct reading!!!
Here is how your blood pressure should be checked:
--You are sitting calmly in a chair. You have been seated in this chair for a couple of minutes.
--Your feet are flat on the floor, your back comfortably supported.
--Your arm is at heart level. The arm is being supported, either by the arm of the chair, a table, or by the medical assistant who is supporting your arm. You are NOT holding your arm up for the blood pressure to be taken.
This is how we do blood pressures in our office. If your blood pressure is checked any other way, speak up. You want your accurate blood pressure recorded.