An important health issue that expectant mothers may encounter during pregnancy is Preeclampsia, a condition in which the expectant mother is diagnosed with hypertension and has protein present in the urine. Preeclampsia is the most common medical disorder of pregnancy and affects 10%-12% of all expectant mothers (Pickering et al, 2005). Since blood pressure plays an important role in the health of mom and baby, accurate blood pressure measurement is extremely critical, because one would never want to be misdiagnosed with hypertension and be prescribed medications/medical interventions that could potentially injure both mom and baby.
Blog @ SunTech has two articles that discuss accurate blood pressure measurements, which provide great information for both patients and medical personnel.
The links to these articles can be found below:
- 10 Steps to Accurate Manual Blood Pressure Measurements
- 10 Factors that can Affect Blood Pressure Measurements
My main focus for this blog is the importance of using the Correct Size Blood Pressure Cuff on a patient, specifically for an expectant mother. The most frequent error in blood pressure measurement is "miscuffing", in which the wrong size cuff is used on the patient's arm. 84% of all "miscuffings" are undercuffing issues, which is when the cuff is too small relative to the patient's arm circumference (Pickering et al, 2005). Undercuffing results in higher blood pressure measurements and can lead to unnecessary medical interventions, such as an induction of labor or a premature cesarean.
I found a very interesting blog site (http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org/lgbpcuffs.htm) that discusses the importance of proper blood pressure cuff size for expectant mothers. In the section titled, "Women's Stories", several women share their experiences with being misdiagnosed with hypertension due to improper cuff size which almost lead to unnecessary medical interventions.
Do you have a similar story to share? We'd love to hear it!
Pickering, T.G., J.E. Hall, L.J. Appel, B.E. Falkner, J. Graves, M.N. Hill, D.W. Jones, T. Kurtz, S.G Sheps, E. J. Roccella. Recommendations for Blood Pressure Measurement in Humans and Experimental Animals: Part 1: Blood Pressure Measurement in Humans: A Statement for Professionals From the Subcommittee of Professional and Public Education of the American Heart Association Council on High Blood Pressure Research. Hypertension (2005) 45:142-161.