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Blood pressure

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The blood pressure is usually recorded at the end of the examination in the hope that the patient will be more relaxed and lying comfortably. Errors in cuff selection can be minimised by selecting the longest cuff that will fit snugly around the child's arm or leg. It is important to record the width of the cuff used.

In smaller children the 'flush' method may be used. In this method a cuff of suitable size is applied round the forearm or upper leg and attached to a sphygomanometer. The hand or foot is firmly clenched by the examiner's hand. The cuff is pumped up before compression is released, leaving the extremity blanched. The pressure is then slowly reduced while a watch is kept on the pale skin. The point at which the colour suddenly returns to the skin is the 'flush' pressure, which is approximately equal to the mean blood pressure.

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