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What is a Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor?

Article Details
  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A wrist blood pressure monitor is a device used to measure blood pressure at home. It is a small cuff that is attached to the wrist, with a digital display screen to show the blood pressure readout. With the press of a button, the cuff on the wrist blood pressure monitor will inflate and take a reading of current blood pressure. The user will not need to manually inflate the cuff as with some arm blood pressure monitors.

Many people are choosing to use a wrist blood pressure monitor at home instead of a more standard arm cuff. They are more convenient and easy to store when not in use, and some find them to be more comfortable. They may also be easier to apply to the wrist, which is particularly helpful for someone with limited range of motion. Some are capable of detecting an irregular heartbeat and sounding an alarm.

In addition, a number of wrist blood pressure monitors are capable of retaining a few months' worth of readings, which may then be shown to a doctor or downloaded to a computer. This is beneficial for someone who needs to carefully track any changes in blood pressure, in order to alert his or her doctor. These monitors can be a great way to monitor health and provide an early warning sign for heart disease.

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There are some downsides to using a wrist blood pressure monitor, however. First and foremost, accuracy is often found to be somewhat lacking. It is important for a wrist blood pressure monitor to be used exactly as indicated, with the wrist and arm resting on a stable surface at heart level. When used properly, a wrist blood pressure monitor can be very accurate.

Some people choose to bring their monitors with them on a doctor visit in order to check the reading against the blood pressure cuff used in a doctor's office. This is a good idea to do when first purchasing a blood pressure monitor, as well as every few months thereafter to be sure the readings are still accurate. Some blood pressure monitors come with warranties from the manufacturer.

Be sure to choose a wrist blood pressure monitor with an easy-to-read digital display, and buttons that are easy to access. Some also feature speakers and can announce the readings aloud for those who are visually impaired. Many come with a carrying case, because it is important to protect the monitor from damage or drops, which can make readings inaccurate.

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