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Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem

On-line version ISSN 1518-8345


VEIGA, Eugenia Velludo; ARCURI, Edna Aparecida Moura; CLOUTIER, Lyne  and  SANTOS, Jair Lício Ferreira. Blood pressure measurement: arm circumference and cuff size availability. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem [online]. 2009, vol.17, n.4, pp.455-461. ISSN 1518-8345.

To avoid inaccurate blood pressure (BP) readings, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends cuff width (CW) encircling 40% of the arm circumference (AC) and cuff length at least 80-100%. This study aimed to identify inpatients´ AC, the corresponding cuff size and the cuff size availability. In total, 81 AC were measured in the right arm. The cuff sizes to fit them were calculated according to AHA AC/CW width 0.40 ratio. The AC varied from 17.5 to 40.5 cm and the corresponding cuff width from 6 to 16cm. The standard cuff 12 by 23 cm, the only size available in the clinics, was appropriate for only 17.3% of the subjects, whose AC varied between 32.5 and 34.3 cm. The lack of availability of different cuff sizes continues being a challenging problem to be faced. The standard cuff available, 12cm large, did not fit 82.7% of the identified AC, resulting in over or underestimated BP registers.

Keywords : blood pressure determination; blood pressure; hypertension; nursing care.

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