“ Brand: Microlife / Type: Blood Pressure Monitor „
As I have several illnesses, which I have had for six years now, it means I take lots of different medications two or three times daily. With some of them I don't have any side effects but with others they cause me extra illnesses. It's sad really that one drug prescribed to me to help with one part of my illness is also responsible for making my blood pressure rise. My high blood pressure is kept at a more acceptable level with the use of three different tablets. About half of the over sixty fives and a quarter of middle aged adults suffer from high blood pressure, (hypertension), and is more common in people that like too much salt, or not eating enough fruit and vegetables, lack of exercise, caffeine and alcohol and the ever increasing obesity problems here in the United Kingdom. A family history of high blood pressure is also a factor as is those who have diabetes, as I now have which was steroid induced. Having high blood pressure increases your chances of heart disease, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. Keeping a close eye on your blood pressure would normally be done at your local health centre by a Doctor or nurse but I much prefer to keep a check on mine at home, this saves me and the health centre a lot of valuable time. To do this I purchased a Microlife Blood Pressure Monitor (automatic) model number BP 3AG1, approximately six months ago, and is a upper arm fully automatic inflation and deflation cuff device.
Where to buy
I purchased this device through the website Blood Pressure Association Online Shop, www.bpassoc.org.uk/Home and I paid £40 with all of the proceeds going towards the charity the Blood Pressure Association charity number 1058944. If you shop around online you can get this same device a little bit cheaper (£10). The monitor comes with a three year guarantee and is included in the British Hypertension Society's list of clinically validated blood pressure monitors for home use. You can buy additional cuffs for £12 extra and you can get then in different sizes so that you can share your monitor with someone else. The two sizes are: Medium Cuff 22-32cm 8.75-12.5" or Large Cuff 32-42cm, 12.5-16.5". There are many other home monitoring devices on their website in different price ranges and models. All major debit and credit cards are accepted using a secure online system, (sage pay), it was delivered to me in seven days.
This device does save me a lot of time and gives me peace of mind but can only be used as a control and not a diagnosis or treatment, and you should never alter the dosage of any of your medication as a result of a reading. I had, before this one, a Braun wrist fitting cuff type monitor which was quite good but I was persuaded to get this upper arm monitor as they say it is more reliable and more accurate. This one has turned out to be very accurate over the months that I've been using it, but what I suggest you do is check your blood pressure at your health centre/doctors and then check it yourself when you get home or even better take it with you so you get a very accurate reading while in the same state of rest at the clinic. Using it properly and having some understanding of what blood pressure, and the monitor reading results mean, does help but at first you may need to try quite a few times before you start to become more proficient and the readings then start to come together and mean something.
What is BP
Now I will try and explain what is blood pressure, this is when your heart beats and pumps blood around your body to give you energy and all the oxygen required. As the blood is flowing it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels with the strength of this pushing is the blood pressure. High blood pressure puts an extra strain on your heart and your arteries which may lead to heart attacks and strokes. You would not usually feel or notice high or even low blood pressure so it is necessary to have it checked and monitored. The way it is measured is in millimetres of mercury (mmHg), So as an example if your reading shows 120/80mmHg your blood pressure would be commonly said as 120 over 80. High blood pressure is when the upper (systolic) blood pressure value is higher than 140 mmHg and the lower (diastolic) value is higher than 90 mmHg. According to the World Health Organisation this reading of 140 over 90 value in an adult is the standard upper limit and this means any reading above that standard should and needs treatment. Systole means when the heart muscle contracts and blood is pumped into the aorta and pressure in the blood vessels is at it's highest. Diastole is when the heart muscle is relaxed the blood pressure in the arterial vessels drops to a low point.
Blood Pressure Values
There is a table for classifying blood pressure values using units mmHg set out according to the World Health Organization (WHO), Hypotension is when the upper level, (systolic blood pressure) is lower than 100 and the lower level, (diastolic blood pressure) is lower than 60. This also shows that a 'normal range' would show the systolic, (upper) between 100-120 and the diastolic, (lower) between 60-80. Mild Hypertension is classed as being 140 to 160 over 90 to 100, and Moderate Hypertension would show values of 160 to 180 over 100 to 110, then Severe Hypertension would show the systolic higher than 180 and the diastolic higher than 110. Your doctor must be consulted if you are getting readings constantly in the higher or even lower values. Blood pressure values must be kept within so called normal ranges to prevent some diseases.
Some causes of high BP
As you will probably know blood pressure has a tendency to go up and down at various times of the day and with different levels of stress, exertion and exercise so just doing one reading would not give you an accurate reading. This being another good reason for having one of these monitors. Experts do agree that up to 90% of patients have inherited high blood pressure, but smoking, being overweight, to much salt and too much stress do contribute and cause high blood pressure. So for every pound in weight we loose our blood pressure will come down as well, stopping smoking has always been the advice for everyone especially those that have hypertension the same as regular exercise which include jogging, cycling, walking and swimming all go a long way to strengthen the cardiovascular system. Also having a good nights sleep does play an important role in resting your heart and system thus bringing down stress levels and blood pressure. Drinking too much alcohol over long periods of time will raise your blood pressure, 21 units of alcohol a week is currently the recommended limit for men and for women it's 14. If you keep within these limits then this will go a long way to keep your blood pressure down. Half a pint of beer or cider and a small glass of wine approximately equal a unit.
The Microlife Blood Pressure Monitor is very easy to position and use and comes with a simple step by step guide, it weighs approximately 363g (with batteries x four 1.5v AA) a mains adapter DC 6V, 600 ma is an optional extra. The devise measures 109mm (W) x 134mm (L) x 54mm (H). On opening the box you will find the monitor with Velcro fitting upper arm cuff that can accommodate sizes medium for arm circumference 22 - 32 cm or large for arm circumference 32 - 42 cm. The LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) shows the oscillometric measuring method, and has a one touch operation that monitors blood pressure and pulse measurements. It has fully automatic inflation and deflation and a memory which can store the last measurement automatically. Measuring range for Systolic/Diastolic are 30 to 280 mmHg and the pulse range is 40 to 200 per minute. The cuff pressure display range is 0-299 mmHg It has automatic switch-off, battery check and error code.
How to use
Selecting a device with the correct cuff size is extremely important as a loose or incorrect positioned cuff will give a false reading. The cuff needs to be slid up the left arm so it is only a couple of centimetres above the elbow and with the tube running down the inside of the arm and the cuff should then be level with the heart. You can then secure the cuff with the Velcro closer then make sure you lay the arm on a cushion or table for support with your palm in an upwards position. You can then press the on switch and the pump will start to inflate the cuff it will then cut out when it reaches a certain preset pressure then you will see and hear the pressure start to fall and the device then detects the pulse beat a beep tone will then be heard with every pulse beat and a blinking heart symbol will be displayed and then a long beep tone will then be heard when the measurement has concluded. The measurement for systolic and diastolic blood pressure values are then displayed as well as the pulse frequency, the measurement will then be stored until your next measurement is taken. You must always take the measurement on the same arm every time.
I have got nothing but praise for this blood pressure monitor it's done the job for me over the last six months, and saved a lot of time making trips to the doctors but mainly it has given my wife and me some peace of mind that can only help, albeit in a small way, to reducing my blood pressure. I now find it necessary to include some safety information given out by Microlife. This blood pressure monitor is not a substitute for a doctors consultation, people who are suffering from arrhythmia, vascular constriction, arteriosclerosis, diabetes and users of cardiac pacemakers should make sure they consult their doctor. If you need any further advice or information then you might like to search the www.microlife.com website their email is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can telephone their Consumer Relations helpline on +41/717277030 and their address is Microlife AG, Espenstrasse 139, 9443 Widnau, Swizerland.
Microlife / This is an automatic upper arm blood pressure monitor that has been approved by the Blood Pressure Association.