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  • The measurement of blood pressure is one of the most commonly performed procedures in clinical medicine and should be done carefully.
  • The main causes of misleading readings should be highlighted in training.
  • All those who measure blood pressure should be assessed on the practical aspects of the procedure.
  • Defective or inappropriate equipment must not be used. A phased maintenance programme is essential and inexpensive.
  • A maintenance programme should be defined for each clinical area where blood pressure measurements are made.
  • Mercury is a toxic substance. Care must be exercised when handling mercury sphygmomanometers and special precautions taken if mercury spillage occurs.
  • Automated devices will in time replace mercury sphygmomanometers. Such devices must be subjected to independent validation of accuracy.
  • Special consideration has to be given to the technique of blood pressure measurement in special groups, such as children, the obese, the elderly and pregnant women.


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BHS 1999