Measurement of blood pressure

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Blood pressure readings are performed as part of the skill set, vital signs and can be described as the force of blood pushing against the walls of the blood vessels.

Blood pressure (BP) comprises of two readings.

Systolic pressure is the greatest force exerted on the walls of the arteries by the heart.

This pressure is exerted when the heart is contracting and the normal range for this is between 100 and 160 millimeter of mercury (mmHg).

Diastolic pressure is the least force exerted on the walls of the arteries by the heart.

This pressure occurs as the heart relaxes between contractions. A normal diastolic pressure is below 80 mmhg.

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