• To obtain a blood pressure reading by means of:
    • Sphygmomanometer and radial palpation (systolic reading only), or
    • Sphygmomanometer and stethoscope (systolic and diastolic reading) in order to assess the haemodynamic stability of a patient.
Patient Factors & Considerations
  • Blood pressures should be auscultated rather than palpated, where possible.
  • Do not over inflate the cuff.
  • Ensure there are no injuries to the arm used.
  • Repeat the measurement at least once to establish a trend.
  • Use the correct size cuff for the patient’s size/weight/age.
  • All relevant infection control methods to be utilised.
  • Explain the procedure to the patient.
  • Support the patient’s arm by resting it on a firm surface below the heart.
  • Remove heavy clothing.
  • Apply sphygmomanometer to upper arm (above the antecubital fossa [ACF]).
  • Position hose connections towards the hand and in line with the brachial artery.

Blood pressure by Palpation

  • Palpate the radial artery.
  • Inflate the cuff until the pulse can no longer be palpated, then increase pressure by an extra 20mmHg.
  • Deflate the cuff slowly.
  • Palpate for the return of pulse to obtain the systolic reading.

Blood Pressure by Auscultation

  • Palpate the brachial artery.
  • Inflate the cuff until the pulse can no longer be palpated, then increase pressure by an extra 20mmHg.
  • Place the stethoscope over the brachial artery.
  • Deflate the cuff slowly.
  • Auscultate for the return of beats to obtain the systolic reading.
  • Continue to deflate the cuff until the beat disappears to obtain the diastolic reading.
  • Document at least 2x blood pressures in the patient care record to establish a trend.
Additional Information

Normal blood pressure values

  • Establish early
  • An adult must be > 90mmHg to adequately perfuse vital organs.
Age groupAdultChild (1 to 8 years)Infant (0 to 1 year)Newborn
Normal systolic values (mmHg) 100 - 140807060
  • *mmHg = Millimetres of Mercury
  • Note: The rates given above are an average for a person at rest, and are only to be use as a guide; values will vary for each person.

  • Taking a Blood Pressure using an Aneroid Sphygmomanometer. (2014). Expert in My Pocket. http://expertinmypocket.com.au/blood-pressure/ 


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