Sphygmomanometry

Inadequate cuff width and circumference will artificially elevate pressure readings.16 However, many morbidly obese patients are hypertensive, and a high pressure reading cannot always be blamed on inappropriate equipment. In order to minimize errors in blood pressure recording, a correct ratio of cuff width to arm circumference, approximately 2:5, should be chosen. The bladder length should be 80 percent of the arm circumference. The ED should stock a variety of sizes of blood pressure cuffs specifically for use in the obese population.

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