Αρτηριακή πίεση / Blood pressure
I’m pretty sure that at some point of your life… …you have heard something about the blood pressure. Maybe you have heard a couple of relatives complaining about their blood pressure being too high… …or maybe you’ve seen a TV commercial trying to promote hypertension prevention. You already know that it doesn’t seem to be a good thing. But what is this thing exactly? First of all let’s give a definition. Blood pressure is the pressure applied to the arteries as the blood flows. The heart has a very important role here. As it beats, it supplies the whole body with blood. But look what happens. But let’s take a closer look! Every heartbeat generates two kinds of pressure. The systolic blood pressure is the pressure applied on the vessels the moment the heart contracts …while the diastolic blood pressure is the pressure applied on the vessels the moment the heart relaxes. Now, the blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The normal range for a healthy adult is 90-120 mmHg for the systolic blood pressure… ….and 60-80 mmHg for the diastolic blood pressure. As you see in the chart, any value above the normal range is called hypertension in different stages… …while any value under the normal range is called hypotension. You may be thinking, ok so the blood flows a bit faster or slower, what’s the big deal with that? Well, it’s not so simple. If the blood pressure is lower than normal then the blood cannot “feed” the tissues well. As a result we have symptoms like exhaustion, inability to concentrate, blurry vision and syncope. On the other hand, if the blood pressure suddenly gets too high… …we may have symptoms like intense headache, chest pain, dyspnea, vision problems, arrhythmia and hematuria. If the hypertension is chronic there is a risk of thrombosis resulting in various problems like ischemic stroke. As for the vessels themselves… …high blood pressure can cause stenosis or even aneurysms. An aneurysm is an excessive localized swelling of the wall of an artery which is dangerous and can burst any time …causing problems like hemorrhagic stroke. Other organs that can be affected are the kidneys (renal insufficiency)… or the eyes (retinopathy -which can lead to loss of vision). Of course the heart itself can be affected too. Chronic hypertension is a risk factor for atherosclerosis. This means that the inside of the coronary arteries starts getting narrow …making the blood flow harder or even impossible thus leading to myocardial infarction. That means that we have to panic? Not necessarily. You could always use some preventive measures like a healthy low fat diet… …low salt and alcohol consumption… …excess weight control, exercise, low caffeine consumption and no smoking at all! And last but not least stress control, which in my opinion is the hardest one. Now let’s get to the interesting part of the video! It’s very important for you to know how to measure the blood pressure… …so you will know when to call your doctor if you see anything strange. Yes, you could always use an automatic blood pressure monitor. However I don’t really like them… …cause the moment the battery starts running out, the results are not very reliable. So let’s learn how to use a classic manual monitor together! First of all keep in mind that the victim you are going to choose as a patient has to be calm. If he was walking until this moment, or if he is stressed… …put him sit with a straight back and give him 2-3 minutes to calm down. Then put his arm on the table so the elbow will be approximately on the heart’s level. Which arm should you choose? Better choose the left one, but actually it doesn’t really matter. What it really matters is that the two arms shouldn’t have a difference greater than 10 mmHg. This rule applies for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. So if it’s the first time you examine the patient, you should check both his arms. Now, put the cuff on the arm, 1 cm above the elbow… …while the rubber tube has to be on your side. Make sure it is not too tight or too loose. If the monitor doesn’t have a built in stethoscope… …you could use a common stethoscope. Put the bell under the cuff, on the exact spot where the doctor usually draws blood from. With one hand hold the bell still while with the other hand hold the air bulb. On its side there is a small valve. Twist the pressure valve closed and start squeezing the bulb repeatedly. If you close the valve correctly, the cuff will start getting inflated and the pointer will start moving up. Keep squeezing the bulb until the pointer shows 220mmHg. Keep the stethoscope in your ears and your eyes on the gauge… …and then slowly open the valve. You will see that the pointer will start moving backwards. At some point you will start hearing your patient’s pulse. Look at the gauge as soon as you hear the first sound. This is the systolic blood pressure. Keep deflating the cuff slowly and take a look at the gauge as soon you hear the last pulse. This is the diastolic blood pressure. In this case the patient has a systolic blood pressure of 120 mm and a diastolic one of 80 mm… …or we could just say 12/8 which is normal. Well, I think I got you a little confused now, so I’m going to give you one more example. First of all we are going to give our patient 1-2 minutes to relax. Then we make him sit down calmly… …we put the cuff on his arm and put the bell of the stethoscope under it. Let’s do it! Yeeeeah…. 14/10… Something tells me that the patient was not as calm as he should be… But again I might be wrong! Anyway! I hope it wasn’t too hard! You know what to do now! Take the old blood pressure monitor from the cupboard and play with it like there’s no tomorrow… …until you finally manage to measure someone’s blood pressure correctly! Just please, be careful not to break it… …otherwise we are both going to be in trouble with your parents! And I don’t know about you, but I want my hair as it is now! And as always, I would like to remind you once more that this video cannot be used for medical diagnosis… …so if you spot anything strange, call your doctor! If you liked this video you can hit the like or the subscribe button, or leave a comment… …and if you want more medical stuff you can follow Human Nature on Facebook and Instagram. You can find all the links in the description! See you next time! Stay tuned!