Preparation of the patient is the same when using an automatic arm blood pressure device e.g., Omron. However, the manufacturer’s instructions for using an automatic blood pressure device can be different. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using the device.
Hypertension should not be diagnosed with only one reading. Blood pressure reading should be taken in a variety of different situations e.g., dental office, medical office, patient’s home. As we know, some patients may experience hypertension from being in our dental office.
In a study published in Lancet about the accuracy of BP readings in both arms, the researchers indicated a systolic number difference of 10-15 mm Hg or more could be an indication of a more serious problem, such as narrowing arteries, decreased blood flow to the brain, and a significantly increased chance of heart attack and stroke. Should the dental professional see such BP readings, they should take the BP readings again after approximately 5-10 minutes. If the BP readings received are still inconsistent (10-15 mm Hg) between the patient’s arms, the patient should be referred to their medical provider (source of care).
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