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Can very tight blood pressure cuffs cause problems?
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Can very tight blood pressure cuffs cause problems?

I go to a health club where I have my blood pressure checked each week.  The nurse always pumps up the cuff to the maximum 300 (I can see the mercury thing on the wall), even though my BP reading is usually around 120/75.  She says this is necessary to ensure that the flow of blood is completely stopped and that her stethoscope is very high powered and can still detect a heartbeat if she stops earlier.  

She says there is no harm in doing this because it is only for about 20 seconds. But my arm usually hurts after she takes my BP. Should I be worried? Is she pumping the cuff tight unnecessarily?

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Avatar_n_tn
It won't do any lasting harm, but it is not necessary.

It shouldn't be necessary to pump it any higher than 180 (unless you have a history of much higher BP's than that).
  Also, it shouldn't be necessary to take your blood pressure every week, either.  Unless you have problems with it or are exercising very strenuously.  If neither of these things are true, once a month  is plenty to take your pressure.  Or get an automatic BP monitor and take it yourself afterwards, after resting and while sitting quietly.

Someone who pumps the cuff up to 300 every time needs to relearn how to take blood pressures.
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Avatar_n_tn
I totally agree with (who is this). I worked as a Medical Asst. and NEVER found it necessary to pump it to the max. NOT even close. Rarely will it cause any damage, but there is a difference between pain and discomfort. It sounds like she is causing you pain and that is never good. Tell her you have done research and would like her to only pump it to about 180 and if she has any difficulty hearing it, she should deflate it completely (NOT just pump it up again and again) and try again. It is YOUR body and you do have a say so, especially when you know she is messing up. Taking someone's BP is easy as pie, for most, but when I was in school, there were a select few that just didn't get it. And honestly they didn't get a LOT of things. Just remember, your the BOSS!
--J
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Avatar_n_tn
um...as a medassist student i would say that you need to have someone else take your BP at the club. the nurse obviously doesnt know what she is talking about. The BP cuff should never touch over the 200 mark unless the patient has a history of high blood pressure. in fact, to go over 160 is not recommended unless you have reported that history. If she doesnt stop pumping it up that high, I would suggest speaking to the manager and calling the health department to check out her licence. If she doesnt even know about taking BP then she obviously doesnt have a good licence or gone to school for it.
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Avatar_n_tn
YEAH THIS PERSON HAS NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE DOING.  I AM A REGISTERED NURSE WITH A GOOD STETHASCOPE AND NEVER HAVE TO PUMP IT UP THAT HIGH.  I HAVE HAD BLOOD PRESSURE CUFFS CAUSE BRUISING AND THAT IS JUST WHEN IT IS PUMPED UP TO 180!  SHE MUST HAVE SUPER SONIC HEARING!
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a colonoscopy on MOnday and when I got home I found a bruise above the IV site on my left arm and then 4 finger print type brusies on my left arm, when I called the clinic the head nurse told me it could of been from the blood pressure monitor being too tight and then from me maybe pressing against the tubes ttat come down, her explanaion for the left arm where there was one bruise is there could of been tape there and when they ripped it off it bruised,,no there wasnt tape there either  what do y ou think?
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