It is common in the family to have hypertension, both on my mother and father side. So at home we have our own sphygmomanometer to monitor and check blood pressure especially if one of us is not feeling well. The traditional sphygmomanometer is, I think, the most accurate but if you missed to hear the first and last beat makes some discrepancy with the result which was my usual problem. I have hearing problem so if I have to take my father or my mother's BP, or even my own BP, everything and everyone has to be silent.
My mother also encounters the same difficulty in taking her own BP if I'm not around at home so she purchased a digital BP monitor at Avon. Avon Philippines has this Wellness product lines. Before she uses it, she had me inspect it and try it.
The case is so compact that it fits on a 4"x4"x4" box and you can carry it with your bag. I think this will be very handy for my mother so she could bring it in the office and have her check her own BP whenever she's not feeling well. Aside from measuring the systolic and diastolic blood pressure, it measures the pulse rate. It uses 2 AAA batteries and is very easy to set-up. It shuts off automatically but you can press the start button for 2 seconds after taking measurement to shut it off manually to save battery. The LCD display is around 1.5" to 2" so the numbers are easy to read. The manual says memory can store up to 90 measurements.
Here are the instructions as per product guide:
1. Insert battery.
2. Place cuff on left wrist. Position the sphygmomanometer on center of wrist, with the LCD facing the user.
3. Position the unit on the same position of the heart or level with the heart. Avoid moving or speaking while blood pressure is being measured.
4. Press start button and release once you hear a beep sound. The cuff of the unit automatically inflates and deflates. Measurement of BP and heart rate will start as the cuff deflates.
5. Long beep signals that the measurement is completed. LCD automatically displays the systolic, diastolic and pulse rate.
Now, the ultimate question is does this product give accurate measurement? I made a comparison on the measurement taken from a traditional sphygmomanometer versus this digital monitor. One morning before taking breakfast, I took my BP and experimented on this digital monitor. The traditional sphygmomanometer gave me a 100/60 (60 rounded off, I think it is 62 because my heart beat sound stopped at a line above 60). I tried it again the traditional way and the result was the same. Then I take measurement with the digital monitor several times. Most of the readings can be rounded off to 60 but the position of the wrist greatly affects the systolic reading. A slight movement of my arm resulted to a 135 reading! After several trials, I got exactly the same measurement after I found the right level and angle for my arm. The arm should rest steadily so use the monitor case to achieve an appropriate angle of the arm and always make sure that the monitor is level with the heart. Overall, this device is compact and easy to use but extra caution should be observed to get accurate reading.