Determining the Blood Pressure

The accurate measurement of BP is the sine qua non for successful patient management. In the everyday practice of medicine (including medical dentistry), the BP should be determined by sphygmomanometry, using a combination of the palpatory and auscultatory methods.12 A sphygmomanometer consists of a pressure manometer (mercury-gravity or aneroid type), a compressor cuff, and a pressure source. Environmental concerns (mercury spillage) have led to the decreased use of mercury-gravity manometers. When other technology is used, i.e., aneroid or electronic, the devices must be appropriately validated and checked (calibrated) for accuracy as specified by the manufacturer.