MoHMA.org

0blood pressure: The following, exerpted from my book (see reference 546) helps to put the measurement of blood pressure in perspective:

“The accurate measurement of the blood pressure is an essential tool in the armamentarium of all health care providers. In modern medicine it has become a routine procedure to monitor blood pressure during all surgical and invasive procedures. Its importance in the diagnosis and management of hypertension, which is one of the most common afflictions of civilized people, cannot be disputed. Twenty to 40% of all persons over 30 years of age in the United States and Europe have an elevated blood pressure. The prevalence in the rest of the world is quite variable but generally relatively high among the non-infectious diseases which afflict human beings. The accurate diagnosis and successful treatment of this silent disease would not be possible without the invention of instruments to diagnose it. The development of the technology for the measurement of blood pressure and the story of the concepts and misconcepts, which began before the modern era with pulse lore, are the subject of this monograph. Although it is not possible to assign a period in history precisely when man first learned to correlate the pulse with health, one can speculate that Neolithic medicine men who were capable of trepanning the skull in living human beings, must have had some knowledge also of sphygmology. The method to make a rough estimation of blood pressure by feeling the pulse with three or four fingers was used and taught well into the twentieth century. Generally, the proximal finger was used to obstruct the flow of blood, the middle finger to estimate the tension and distal finger to stop back flow (BRUNTON SL 1914). The Chinese recognized three distinct areas to feel the pulse reflecting different diseases and body parts. It is probable that, from the earliest medical practice through modern times, the palpation of the pulse at the wrist has been the most common clinical examination. The evolution of this simple and time-tested observation into the measurement of arterial blood pressure at the bedside is an interesting story of diagnostic medicine. Its progress and outcome depended on the development of methodologies based on scientific principles. It was also the consequence of the prolonged efforts of many investigators who applied scientific resources and new methods during the evolution of materials technology. The availability of a substance that we take for granted, like rubber, was critical to the continued evolution of methods to measure the blood pressure. The joint contributions of all of these resources culminated in the present day technique of accurate measurement of the blood pressure during routine clinical examination and its impact on our ability to diagnose, treat and prevent associated illnesses.”

The Devices can be divided into three basic categories: sphygmomanometers, sphygmographs and sphygmometers, which is subdivided into pulse, that are all shown as a subcategories. Clicking on one of them will show the instruments arranged according to that grouping