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Blood pressure measurement is an essential and routine practice in healthcare, playing a crucial role in diagnosing and monitoring various medical conditions, primarily hypertension. This measurement, performed using a sphygmomanometer, allows healthcare professionals to assess the pressure exerted by the blood against the walls of the arteries.

Both the sphygmomanometer and the stethoscope are essential instruments for correct blood pressure measurement, each with a specific role in this process. In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of measuring blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer and a stethoscope, as well as discussing the importance and accuracy of these instruments.

We invite you, the reader, to continue on this journey of discovery with us, exploring the detailed techniques and nuances that make blood pressure measurement such a valuable tool in the field of health. Come understand better how these practices are applied in medical routine and their relevance in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Before we continue, we need to ask: Are you already familiar with Ninsaúde Clinic? Ninsaúde Clinic is a medical software with an agile and complete schedule, electronic medical records with legal validity, teleconsultation, financial control and much more. Schedule a demonstration or try Ninsaúde Clinic right now!


A sphygmomanometer is a medical device used to measure blood pressure. It consists of an inflatable cuff, a pressure gauge (manometer), and a manual or automatic pump. The cuff is wrapped around the patient's arm and inflated to restrict blood flow. The manometer records the pressure as the cuff is gradually deflated, allowing blood to circulate through the artery again so that the healthcare professional can determine the systolic and diastolic pressure values.


The stethoscope is another fundamental instrument in the medical field, primarily used to listen to body sounds. Composed of a diaphragm (for high-frequency sounds) and a bell (for low-frequency sounds), the stethoscope is used to listen to internal sounds, such as heartbeats, breathing, and crucially, Korotkoff sounds during blood pressure measurement.

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Relationship Between Sphygmomanometer and Stethoscope in Blood Pressure Measurement

The interaction between the sphygmomanometer and the stethoscope is crucial for conducting blood pressure measurements using the auscultatory method, which is considered the gold standard for accurate blood pressure measurement. This method involves several detailed steps, starting with the correct placement of the sphygmomanometer cuff on the patient's arm. The cuff is inflated to a level that exceeds the expected systolic blood pressure, temporarily blocking blood flow in the underlying artery.

With the stethoscope, the healthcare professional places the diaphragm over the artery, usually at the elbow's crease, to listen for Korotkoff sounds, which are crucial for determining blood pressure values. As the pressure in the cuff is gradually released, blood begins to flow again through the artery, producing audible vibrations.

The first of these sounds, known as phase I of Korotkoff, indicates the return of pulsatile blood flow and is recorded as the systolic pressure. As the pressure in the cuff continues to decrease, the sounds go through various audible changes corresponding to different phases of Korotkoff, until they disappear completely, which occurs in phase V. The disappearance of these sounds represents the diastolic pressure when the pressure in the cuff is low enough to allow continuous blood flow without restrictions.

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This technique not only provides measures of systolic and diastolic pressure but also allows the doctor to evaluate the tone and quality of vascular sounds, which can offer additional insights into the patient's cardiovascular health. Moreover, the ability to discern and accurately interpret Korotkoff sounds is crucial and requires training and practice, emphasizing the importance of experience and clinical expertise in using these instruments.

Thus, the combination of the sphygmomanometer and stethoscope not only facilitates accurate blood pressure measurement but also provides a window into the patient's circulatory and cardiovascular state, proving indispensable in clinical settings for the assessment and management of blood pressure-related conditions.

How to Measure Blood Pressure with a Sphygmomanometer and Stethoscope

Preparation for Measurement

  • Environment: Ensure that the setting is calm and pleasant to avoid affecting the blood pressure reading due to stress or recent exertion. Ensure the patient has not engaged in physical exercise or consumed caffeine 30 minutes prior to the measurement.
  • Patient Positioning: The patient should be comfortably seated in a chair with back support, keeping their spine straight and feet firmly on the floor. The arm to be used for measurement should be relaxed and supported, preferably on a flat surface, with the upper part of the arm at heart level.
  • Equipment Preparation: Before starting, inspect the sphygmomanometer and stethoscope to ensure they are both functioning properly. Check if the cuff is clean and intact. Wrap the cuff firmly but not too tightly around the arm, positioning it above the elbow.
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Measurement Process

  • Locating the Artery: Gently palpate the brachial artery in the inner elbow area to locate it. Position the bell of the stethoscope precisely over the artery, ensuring proper contact without excessive pressure.
  • Inflating the Cuff: Inflate the cuff quickly to a pressure that is 20 to 30 mmHg higher than the level at which the arterial pulse disappears, or up to 180 mmHg if not clear. This ensures complete occlusion of the blood flow in the artery.
  • Deflation and Auscultation: Begin to deflate the cuff slowly and controlled. Focus on the Korotkoff sounds, whose first appearance (phase I) indicates the systolic pressure. Continue deflating the cuff until the sounds become muffled and then disappear completely (phase V), indicating the diastolic pressure.

Tips for Accurate Measurement

  • Repetition: If there is a need to reconfirm the values, it is advisable to wait at least 1 to 2 minutes before repeating the procedure to avoid the effect of prolonged cuff compression on arterial circulation.
  • Cuff Size: Ensure to use a cuff suitable for the patient's arm circumference. Inappropriate cuffs can lead to erroneous readings, with small cuffs overestimating and large cuffs underestimating blood pressure.
  • Recording: Immediately document the obtained blood pressure values along with the date and time for future references and medical follow-up.
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Blood Pressure Measurement Record with Ninsaúde Clinic

Accurate recording of blood pressure measurements is crucial for monitoring and managing patient health, especially for those with chronic conditions such as hypertension. Ninsaúde Clinic's electronic health record system is a valuable tool that assists various health professionals in this process.

Ninsaúde Clinic offers an intuitive platform where doctors, nurses, and other health professionals can log patient progress in an organized and accessible manner. This not only facilitates the review of information during care but also promotes effective communication among different specialists involved in a patient's treatment.

A highlighted feature of Ninsaúde Clinic is the ability to create customized form templates, which are extremely useful for standardizing the recording of information like blood pressure measurements. When setting up a form, professionals can choose from different field types to ensure that information is recorded completely and accurately.

Form Template Creation Screen in Ninsaúde Clinic

For instance, text fields can be used for general notes about the patient's condition or specific details about the session. Numeric fields are ideal for recording exact systolic and diastolic values. The calculated field can be used to automatically determine the average of several measurements or to calculate the variation in blood pressure over time. Additionally, the dual field is particularly useful for including blood pressure measurement results, allowing both systolic and diastolic pressures to be noted in the same field, simplifying data entry and reducing the possibility of errors.

These tools not only optimize professionals' time during consultations but also improve the quality of recorded information, contributing to more accurate analysis and more effective therapeutic planning. Thus, Ninsaúde Clinic presents itself as a robust and flexible solution for health information management, facilitating professionals' work and enhancing patient care.

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