Jt. Mcvicker, Blood pressure measurement - Does anyone do it right?: An assessment of the reliability of equipment in use and the measurement techniques of clinicians, J FAM PLAN, 27(3), 2001, pp. 163-164
Public Health & Health Care Science
JOURNAL OF FAMILY PLANNING AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE
Objective. To assess the accuracy and consistency of blood pressure measure
ment techniques among individual clinicians and the reliability of the equi
pment in everyday use.
Design. Professional survey.
Participants. The senior nurse at each of 28 clinics was sent two questionn
aires about equipment, and 55 health professionals were sent a questionnair
e about their measurement technique.
Main outcome measures. Faulty equipment, date of last service, named indivi
dual responsible for equipment, knowledge of protocols regarding mercury sp
illage, correct technique for measuring blood pressure, training in blood p
Results. An 82% response rate on equipment showed it to be in relatively go
od condition, although maintenance problems and some potentially dangerous
health and safety issues were highlighted. A 67% response rate on measureme
nt technique showed that there tvas considerable variation in individual me
asurement technique that could lead to inappropriate action.
Comment. This study has lead to replacing all mercury with aneroid devices,
and to the development of staff guidelines and updating on measurement tec
hniques. A re-audit will be carried out to complete the cycle.