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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Checking Blood Pressure

In the exam rooms where I do my standardized patient exams the blood pressure cuff is attached to the wall. Pretty typical. However, because of its position the only place you can take blood pressure is with the standardized patient sitting on the exam table. Now there's some evidence the BP you get with the patient sitting unsupported on the exam table is off.
Systolic blood pressure -- the top number in a blood pressure reading -- was lower when sitting in a chair compared with sitting on a table.

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