If you are working in the medical industry, you know for sure how to use a sphygmomanometer with stethoscope. But if not, certainly, you know this instruments by its appearance.
Even so, a sphygmomanometer is actually the device that every people see when their blood pressure needs checking. And this is because it is mainly the device that allows the nurses and doctors to measure the pressure.
Obviously, if you had your blood pressure checked in a clinic or hospital, you know for sure that stethoscopes are largely utilized in the process. But do you know why? Do you know how it works? Why these two instruments go together?
If you are quite interested to learn the answers to these questions, then this short preview might help you. But if you want to know how a stethoscope works primarily, then you may check this post first. Nevertheless, if you are on to learning all about blood pressure and sphygmomanometer, then continue to read on!
Intro To Sphygmomanometer
As it happens, sphygmomanometer is a device that is mainly for checking blood pressure. This is why it is also known as the blood pressure meter or monitor or gauge. But whatever your preference for its name, the device is mainly for your blood pressure.
Conventionally, there is only one type of sphygmomanometer and this is the manual type. And usually, it is the sphygmomanometer with stethoscope on its side. Not literally though, but the only way it would work if the user utilizes a stethoscope as well at the same time.
But since we are now in the age of technology, where almost everything is innovated and advanced, sphygmomanometers do come now in digital types and forms. And this means that it already features electronic functions to determine the blood pressure. Accordingly, the use of stethoscope is no longer needed.
While this type is much more convenient and efficient, these instruments are relatively cheap. And you know how the medical industry works these days. So, it is very rare for every personnel and professional in the medical field to have their own digital sphygmomanometer. Consequently, this is why most medical professionals still resort to using the manual types.
The Mechanisms of A Manual Sphygmomanometer
Now, a manual sphygmomanometer consists of three parts. And these include the inflatable cuff, the measuring unit, and the mechanism for inflation. And if you were able to experience having your blood pressure checked, you are surely familiar with all of these mechanisms.
Nevertheless, here is the main functions of these parts if you want to dive into that aspect:
The Inflatable Cuff
When you are being checked for your blood pressure, the first thing that nurse or the doctor will do to you is to let your arm stretch towards him or her. As for which arm, it actually depends. And once you are able to stretch your arm out, a soft lengthy cloth-like material will be placed around your arm covering your pulse where it produces the strongest sound.
This material is apparently the inflatable cuff. It is partially stretchable but it is totally adjustable depending on the size of your arm. And placing it around your arm is not just a simple cover-over. The nurse or doctor will ensure that the inflatable cuff will totally cover all the extra spaces.
The Measuring Unit
The second part of a sphygmomanometer is the measuring unit. Apparently, there are two classes of manual sphygmomanometers. And these classes largely vary depending on the specific type of the measuring unit. These are the mercury manometer and the aneroid gauge.
In most clinics and medical institutions, the most common type of measuring unit that normally comes in the sphygmomanometer is the mercury manometer. And more often than not, it is called as the gold standard.
As it appears, this type do not need recalibration. Unlike the aneroid gauge units, mercury manometers deliver more accurate results.
On the other hand, the aneroid gauge units are quite tricky to use. But they are safer in terms of its materials since it does not have mercury in it. Even so, calibration is largely needed in this measuring unit. This is why it is often referred to as the mechanical sphygmomanometer.
But while they are pretty challenging to use, they are common as well since they are relatively cheaper than the mercury manometer.
Bulb and Air Valve
As for the third part, this is where the bulb and air valve lie. And these aspects are the ones responsible for the inflation mechanism. Once the bulb is pumped, air will be locked which causes for the cuff to inflate.
Once the cuff is fully inflated (depending on the patient’s blood flow), a sound from the pressure of the flow will start to produce until it drops making another sound. And from these sounds, it is where the nurse or the doctor gets the measurement of the pressure.
So, this is why a sphygmomanometer with stethoscope is a need all at once when taking and measuring the blood pressure. And it is because the stethoscope will be the device that will help the nurse or the doctor to capture the sound of the pressure.
Using Sphygmomanometer With Stethoscope
Given the parts and mechanisms of a sphygmomanometer, you will surely know when and why one would need a stethoscope in the process. It is also worth noting that the stethoscope will be positioned in the area where the pulse is strong underneath the cuff.
So without a great stethoscope in the process, one cannot proceed in getting the measurements of the pressure. Unless, of course, one will use a digital sphygmomanometer instead.
Apparently, any great stethoscope will do just fine. But there is a common stereotype that Welch Allyn stethoscopes are the most ideal ones in getting a blood pressure. Check this Welch Allyn Adult Professional Stethoscope review and see it for yourself.
The most probable reason is that there are Welch Allyn sphygmomanometers that already comes with stethoscopes. And these sphygmomanometer with stethoscope kits are quite cost effective for many.
If you want to know more about sphygmomanometer with stethoscope kits and dynamics, this video might help: