Most people think of a blood pressure (BP) cuff as simply, “just a cuff.” However, there are actually a number of BP cuffs that have been developed to meet the varying needs of patients and medical facilities. In an effort to shed more light on the different cuffs available for use, here is some detailed information on each type, how they are used and the typical environment in which each are used.
- Reusable Cuffs: The most popular and common cuff on the market today is the reusable cuff. These cuffs are usually made out of a nylon material, which is a great material for durability, longevity, and easy cleaning. These cuffs are used on multiple patients every day, and can be found in almost any doctor’s office or hospital where there is a low risk for spreading infectious diseases. Typically, the sizes for the reusable cuffs range from Infant to Thigh (8 cm to 50 cm circumference).
- Disposable Cuffs: Disposable cuffs are the 2nd most common cuff on the market and are quickly becoming popular as there is a growing concern for hospital acquired infections (like MRSA and C-diff). Hospitals are turning toward disposable cuffs as a first line of defense to reduce the risk of hospital acquired infections (HAI). Disposable cuffs are typically made out of polyester or vinyl. These cuffs are single-patient-use or limited-use cuffs and common throughout emergency rooms, operating rooms, intensive care units, and neonatal units where infection control is a concern. Typically, the sizes for disposable cuffs range from Neonate #1 to Thigh (3 cm to 50 cm circumference).
- D-Ring Cuffs: Putting on a “typical” blood pressure cuff (i.e. reusable or disposable cuff) yourself can be difficult. D-ring cuffs were designed to be self-applied and make it easier to take your own blood pressure without assistance. D-Ring cuffs are typically used for the home-monitoring and self-application environments.
- Specialty Cuffs: SunTech Medical has 2 patented specialty-use blood pressure cuffs, the Orbit and Orbit-K cuff. These cuffs were designed specifically for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and exercise stress testing environments, respectively. These cuffs have a built-in elastic sleeve that gently hugs the arm to keep the cuff in place, whether it be for an extended period of time or running/walking on a treadmill or ergometer.
Whether you are a physician or a distributor, familiarizing yourself with these different types of blood pressure cuffs can help you better understand their application so that you can make an informed decision for use or recommendation for purchase. If you have a question about a particular cuff mentioned please leave us a comment below.