How to Calibrate a Blood Pressure Monitor – Step By Step Process

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When you know how to calibrate a blood pressure monitor, you can be confident that you can get accurate numbers. Accurate numbers from your BP tracker helps you to avoid emergencies and keep your blood pressure under control. It also helps your doctor to adjust your medication dosage if necessary.

Your monitor may still give you inaccurate readings, even if it has self-calibrating functions. These functions may not correctly calibrate the device. Inaccurate blood pressure numbers are not unusual for at-home BP trackers, yet, there are ways to prevent inaccurate numbers from happening when you know how to calibrate a blood pressure monitor.

How do You Calibrate a Blood Pressure Cuff?

Calibrating a blood pressure cuff is not difficult, but there are several steps you must go through. You can do this on your own or with the help of a medical professional. You must calibrate your monitor on your arm, otherwise, you will get inaccurate numbers if you calibrate your device on someone else’s arm.

Here are the general steps to calibrating your device:

  • Step One – Sit down and relax for a few minutes. Take a few deep breaths if necessary. Then place the cuff around your upper arm correctly so you can get accurate numbers.
  • Step Two – Start the device. You will begin to feel the cuff starting to pump up.
  • Step Three – When the cuff starts to deflate, write down the numbers shown on the monitor’s display. The systolic number is the most important number you will need to complete the calibration process.
  • Step Four – You will need to go to the main screen by pressing the home button on the performance monitor. Go to the second screen by tapping the moving arrow, then tap the settings icon.
  • Step Five – After you reach the settings, select the SBP Calibration option and find the username section. This section is where you will set your username to access your numbers.
  • Step Six – Be sure the cuff monitor is at heart level, then start the machine to record your blood pressure.
  • Step Seven – Once you have your BP numbers, press anywhere on the first calibration screen while holding the performance monitor. Hold the performance monitor with your left hand on the left sensor and place your thumb on the sensor in the middle section. Place your right hand on the back of the monitor, and put your index finger on the back sensor.
  • Step Eight – A message will appear for you to put down your systolic blood pressure number by using the keypad.
  • Step Nine – Repeat the first eight steps to complete a second calibration. You will receive a Successful Calibration message on your monitor. If you are unsuccessful at calibrating your monitor, you can turn it off, then turn it back on and start over.

Why do You Need to Know How to Calibrate a Blood Pressure Monitor?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a major health problem. It is a silent killer because symptoms of hypertension mirror the symptoms of other health issues. These symptoms include:

  • Headaches and confusion
  • Shortness of breath and exhaustion
  • Chest pains and nausea
  • Poor vision and ringing in the ears

When hypertension goes undiagnosed, it can lead to:

  • Heart attacks and heart failure
  • Aneurysms and strokes
  • Kidney disease and eye damage
  • Memory problems and dementia

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 108 million adults in the United States have hypertension. Nearly half of these adults have their hypertension under control. Hypertension was a contributing or primary cause of half a million deaths in the U.S. in 2018.

The risk factors for developing hypertension include:

  • Age – Developing hypertension increases with age.
  • Sex – Men are more likely to develop hypertension than women.
  • Family history – There is a genetic component to developing hypertension.
  • Being overweight – Obesity increases the amount of blood flow to your tissues, which creates hypertension.
  • Stress – Long-term stress increases the chance of developing hypertension

Unfortunately, most people do not know they have hypertension until it is too late. When you know how to calibrate a blood pressure monitor, you can be sure that you can get accurate numbers. Accurate numbers will help you keep your hypertension under control, so you will not suffer the debilitating effects of hypertension. A medical health professional can also provide you with better treatment options when you provide them with accurate blood pressure numbers.

Learning how to calibrate a BP device is not difficult. There are several easy steps that you can take to get the accurate numbers you need to monitor your blood pressure. Here is some information about how to calibrate a blood pressure monitor for accurate numbers.

Which One is More Accurate: Manual or Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor?

Many studies have shown that automatic blood pressure monitor machines are more accurate than the manual ones. These are trouble-free as well.

On the other hand, using a manual blood pressure monitor can give you wrong readings if you are not an experienced operator. Besides, fixing the reading of these monitors can be hectic as well.

So if you want a trouble-free experience, our suggestion will be to go for the automatic blood pressure monitors. Though the automatic machines can be pricey sometimes, the accuracy and trouble-free operating system are worth the price.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Accuracy is necessary for a proper hypertension diagnosis and treatment. According to cardiologist Dr. Luke Laffinnd Clinic, most at-home BP trackers can produce accurate results. Dr. Laffin says you can check the accuracy of your monitor by taking it to your doctor’s office and comparing its results to the results of the office monitor. Your monitor is accurate if the top systolic number on your monitor is within ten points of the systolic number on the office monitor.

Taking multiple measurements can also help to increase the accuracy of your monitor. When you take two or three measurements at least twice a day, you can see the averages that closely reflect your blood pressure.
Most blood pressure machines need calibrating. Even if you have a monitor that does not need calibrating, you should still take it to a medical office and compare its accuracy to the office’s blood pressure monitor.

You should calibrate your device at least once a year. Most monitors require calibration once every six months, while other monitors may only require one calibration every two years. Be sure to read your owner’s manual to see your device’s recommended calibration frequency.

You have to follow a detailed guide to calibrate the pressure cuff. Wear the cuff properly and take the performance monitor. Afterward, you have to follow the instructions that we have mentioned above in a step by step manner.​

Your monitor should have a reset option. Follow the directions in your owner’s manual to reset your monitor. You can also take your monitor to your doctor’s office where they can help you reset your monitor.

There are many brands of BP monitors that you can buy online or at a drugstore. There are several types of monitors, including:

  • Manual inflation
  • Digital non-portable automatic inflation for the upper arm
  • Digital portable automatic inflation for the upper arm, wrist, or finger

Monitors with the automatic arm cuff are more accurate than the manual, wrist, and finger monitors.

When you purchase a monitor with an inflatable upper arm cuff, you must make sure the cuff is the right size. Otherwise, you will receive inaccurate numbers. If you are in a store, try on the cuffs of different monitors to see which one fits the best. Also, go to the store to try on different size cuffs to see which one fits the best before you make an online purchase.

You do not have to spend a lot of money to buy the most accurate BP monitor. Many of the best at-home monitors are less than $100. One of the best overall monitors is the Omron Platinum Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor. The current price of this device is about $80. Its clinical accuracy is validated by the American Heart Association. The Omron Platinum is a wireless device that can accommodate multiple users and store up to 100 readings per person.

Another monitor that ranks as one of the best overall monitors is the Withings BPM Connect. The current price of the Withings BPM Connect is just under $100, and it is FDA-cleared for its medical accuracy. This Wi-Fi Bluetooth-enabled device offers unlimited data storage, and you can share your results with your doctor through the Health Mate app.

There are plenty of accurate monitors under $50 if you are budget conscious. One of these monitors is the iHealth Track Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor. The current price of this device is $40. It is also approved by the FDA for its medical accuracy. This device also alerts you if you are experiencing any heart rhythm disturbances. The heart does not need any calibration, but you should check its accuracy when you visit your doctor.

Conclusion

Your wellness is a priority. You can control your hypertension when you get accurate numbers from your BP tracker. Be sure to consult a doctor when you have any questions about your hypertension or how to calibrate a blood pressure monitor for accurate numbers.

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