How to accurately measure blood pressure

Kathryn Latimer Jones
Saturday, April 2, 2022

One very important clinical skill for every veterinary nurse is the accurate measurement of arterial blood pressure in both conscious and anaesthetised patients. These readings are useful for a wide variety of monitoring as well as diagnostic purposes. It is critical to produce accurate results so that patients may receive the best care and treatment as soon as possible. If blood pressure measurement is not performed correctly there is the possibility of an error, which can negatively impact patient management. Blood pressure measurements are sensitive: their accuracy can be affected by the environment the patient is in, the patient's behaviour, measurement procedures, devices used for the measurement and the nurse or clinician carrying out the measurement. To minimise errors in blood pressure measurement, a detailed, standardised measurement protocol is necessary with adequate training. This allows for accurate, repeatable and reliable measurement of blood pressure to be achieved each time.

Figure 1. The oscillometric technique can measure non-invasive blood pressure to determine diastolic, systolic and mean arterial pressure along with pulse rate.
Figure 1. The oscillometric technique can measure non-invasive blood pressure to determine diastolic, systolic and mean arterial pressure along with pulse rate.

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