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Blood Pressure Testing and Measurement
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Blood Pressure Testing and Measurement?

Blood pressure testing is used to measure the force of blood being pumped through the arteries. The force is created by the heart beating.

Placement of Blood Pressure Cuff
Placement of Blood Pressure Cuff
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

This test is used to screen for abnormal blood pressure or to monitor your blood pressure if you already have a blood pressure problem. High blood pressure (hypertension) puts stress on the heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, and blood vessels. Over time, high blood pressure can damage these organs and tissues. Abnormally low blood pressure ( hypotension ) may limit blood flow through tissues and organs of the body. This can also be harmful.

Blood pressure is measured at most visits to the doctor for adults and older children. It is not always measured in young children. It is often measured more frequently in people who have abnormal blood pressure, heart disease, and diseases of the lungs, brain, and kidneys. In some cases, your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure at...

Call Your Doctor

If you are checking your blood pressure at home, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Blood pressure that is too high or abnormally low
  • Symptoms of chest pain, trouble breathing, or feeling dizzy
  • Questions about the use of medicine to treat high blood pressure