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Test: Blood Pressure Measurement

Blood pressure measurement is a routine part of having a physical examination. A measuring device called a sphygmomanometer gives a blood pressure reading as systolic pressure (the higher figure) when the heart contracts and diastolic pressure when the heart relaxes. A healthy young adult has a blood pressure of about 120/80 mmHg. Your blood pressure may be taken when you are sitting, standing, or lying down.

During the procedure

A cuff is wrapped around your upper arm and inflated using a bulb. The cuff is slowly deflated while the doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the blood flow through an artery in your arm.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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