My Dr wanted me to monitor my BP on a regular basis for a bit, and suggested I get a home BP machine. I don’t think this will be a long term need, but I could be using it for 6 months or so. There are many offered online and at my local pharmacy but I know nothing about these.
Is there a big difference in quality/reliability/accuracy between the wrist vs upper arm models? Do I need any particular features? Brands? I’m really just looking to track the two numbers 3-4 times a week for six months.
My doctor suggested that I do the same. After some discussion with her, I came to the conclusion that it was less important for the readings to be absolutely accurate than for them to be consistent. In other words, if a specific BP device always reads a bit high, that’s OK, as long as it is consistently high by a measurable amount.
I ended up getting a “single finger” unit. It’s small and easy to use. It reads a bit low (I took it to my GP’s office and tried it right after having her take my BP), but it’s portable and easy to use. If you get a large unit that is more difficult to use, it’s likely that you will not use it on a regular basis, or that you will store it somewhere and simply leave it there.
I use an Omron upper arm blood pressure monitor. It is extremely accurate, to the point where when I was using it daily, I could tell my doctor exactly what my blood pressure numbers were going to be. If it could be an issue for you, make sure that you use the correct cuff size. If you have a larger upper arm, you may need a larger cuff to get accurate readings.
I’ve got a North American Healthcare “Wristech” unit, and it’s worked fine for me for the last six years. As ZonexandScout notes, consistency is pretty much key, and this li’l puppy has been giving me numbers that mesh properly with doctors’ office measurements, as far as trends go. Up, down, whee.
Get the kind with the rubber pumping bladder. Pumping up the pressure is good excercise, and you won’t need to change the batteries so often. Its also cheaper, without the electric pump. The accuracy and functilon of the machine is exactly the same.
I have two. A Microlife BP3C1 (That’s what it says on the bottom after 'model #) and an Omron. The Microlife is battery operated and the Omron plugs in. Both are upper arm readers, and they pretty much agree with each other and run about 3-5 points higher than the hand pump type readers at my doctors office. I was told that the upper-arm type were more accurate, for what that’s worth.
When I bought the Omron about 5 years ago I had to make sure to get the proper size arm band. You’ll want to check that out. IIRC I paid $30 or $40 for it then.
BTW, I’ve had the Microlife for at least 10 years and have only changed the batteries once. Hard to believe, but true. I don’t know what they cost 'cause mine was given to me.
Ditto, right down to buying mine at Walgreens. Don’t get the finger type, whatever you do. I didn’t get top-of-the-line, but one model down. I figured I’d have it for years, so get something decent. Check with your insurance and see if they’ll pay for at least part of it.
I use a Timex that I see is now considered “vintage”. :smack: But when it finally needs replaced I will probably go with the same brand. This sucker has worked like a charm for like 30 years now.
One hint I got from my former doctor --------- take your pulse manually and see if the number is close/matches. If so the reading should be good. If the numbers are more than say 5 off re-take the readings or re-position the cuff.
I use a wrist cuff at work. Patients often check it against their upper arm monitors in their homes, and so far it is always within a few points. Bear in mind, BP can vary from minute to minute!
I use the wrist cuff for two main reasons: 1. it fits a wide range of sizes of people. I have patients at 68 lbs and 500 lbs. 2. older ladies, in particular, can have a lot of loose skin on their upper arms that a regular cuff pinches and causes them pain when the cuff is pumped up. I hate hurting my patients and it causes their BP to rise, as well.
I use an old manual pump pump-up that reads high.
Compare it to the doctors office several times a year. Always the same correction to get a match.
Consistency is key.
Every day, first thing I do is BP & heart rate readings, with date & time in a spiral note pad …
Don’t have to remember a date, or day of week.
I also do a glucose reading at this time also.
Then take medications, then eat.
If you can’t remember to do it, you really need to tell your doctor that …
I email a picture of my pages to the doctor office about once a month which gets scanned and entered into my medical file.
Your willingness to ignore doctors orders may vary.