Blood pressure is the force of blood inside an artery. A
blood pressure reading measures the force of blood against the walls of an artery.
pressure is measured by temporarily stopping the flow of blood in an artery, using
a cuff placed around the upper arm. Air is added to the cuff until blood flow stops.
As the air is released, blood begins to flow through the artery again. Blood pressure
is measured as the blood begins to flow again.
Blood pressure readings
consist of an upper and lower number (such as 120 over 90 or 120/90). Blood pressure
readings are measured in units called millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
blood pressure is the first or upper number in a blood pressure reading. Systolic
pressure is the pressure of blood against the artery walls when the heart has just
finished contracting or pumping.
Diastolic blood pressure is the second
or lower number in a blood pressure reading. Diastolic pressure is the pressure of
blood against the artery walls between heartbeats, when the heart is relaxed and filling
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine &
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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