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Darin Professional Centre
Suite 1, 631 Logan Road,
Greenslopes, QLD 4120

Blood Pressure Monitoring

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in the arteries as the heart pumps it around the body. Blood pressure is usually measured by wrapping an inflatable pressure bag around the upper arm. The bag is connected to a mercury or digital pressure-measuring device (sphygmomanometer - sfig-mo-mah-nom-eh-ter).

Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers, for example 120 over 80 (120/80). The higher number indicates the pressure in the arteries as the heart squeezes blood out during each beat. It is called the systolic blood pressure. The lower number indicates the pressure as the heart relaxes before the next beat. It is called the diastolic blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). It is best to measure blood pressure when you are relaxed and sitting or lying down.

Blood pressure does not stay the same all the time. It is always changing to meet your body's needs. If a reading is high, your doctor will probably measure your blood pressure again on several occasions to confirm the level. Your doctor may also recommend that you measure your blood pressure at home or have a 24-hour recording with a portable monitoring device, particularly if she suspects that coming to the clinic makes your blood pressure rise. Women's Wellbeing have BP Monitors available for you to borrow if this is the case.

Normal blood pressure: generally less than 120/80 mmHg (i.e. systolic blood pressure less than 120 and diastolic blood pressure less than 80 mmHg).

Normal to high blood pressure: between 120/80 and 140/90 mmHg.

High blood pressure: 140/90 mmHg or higher.

If your blood pressure is 180/110 mmHg or higher, you have very high blood pressure. If your blood pressure remains high, it can lead to serious problems such as a heart attack, a stroke, heart failure or kidney disease. High blood pressure usually does not give warning signs. You can have high blood pressure and feel perfectly well. The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is by having it checked regularly by your doctor.


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