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Blood Pressure Monitors -- What Do You Use?


Hoosierfan
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I use an Omron wrist monitor as well. I took it to my last office visit and compared it with their results (hospital-grade automated cuff) and both Sys. and Dia. were within 10 points, which I assume is pretty good considering that BP can fluctuate by the minute. I don't trust home-use arm cuffs because they're always huge on me.

Using the upper arm is always best if you can, but wrist monitors are accurate so long as you stay totally still and have your wrist at heart level. The only thing I don't like about wrist monitors is you can't use them lying down.

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I have an Omron that has matched up almost exactly with dr office readings several times. My only issue with it is that I get loads of error readings when I try to get standing measurements. The lowest reading I've gotten on it is 85/58... Would love to find an at-home monitor that works for low BP... Does one exist?

(null)

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I've used my Omron lying down when I get lightheaded, and I've gotten as low as 80/48, but I did get "E" a few moments before that. I'm curious about the wrist monitors because I have another one where the screen sits on the inside of the wrist and you have to hold your arm / wrist like you are "dancing like an egyptian!" and it consistently gives me different readings. I don't think it fits as well as my Omron. Never had a upper arm one

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i also have an Omron BP 785, with a bicep cuff, with all sorts of features (3 readings average, mornings average, evenings average, sensors for irregular heart beat, sensor letting you know you moved during the reading, 100 memory entries for 2 different users - bells and whistles) so I thought it should be reliable and work properly. I started using it and I had the same issue getting errors standing if my bp was too low. What i have tried and it works is to tighten the cuff. Once i did that i stopped getting errors. Elfie, dizzyde I'm not saying this is the answer to your problem, but it might be worth trying. In my case tightening the cuff (I know it's a bit uncomfortable once it starts inflating) did the trick.

Alex

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I've got an Omron upper arm cuff as well. It seems to work relatively well but I also have issues with getting error messages when I'm standing. I've wondered if my bp was dropping and it couldn't keep up. I was trying to do a poor man's tilt the other week and after about 5 minutes of standing my hr was around 150 and my bp was like 95/50. I started feeling really nauseous and dizzy and kept getting error messages. I had to stop the test and run to the bathroom because I thought I was going to be sick. I was annoyed because I wanted to see what was happening with my bp/hr! I've also gotten the message where it said it detected an abnormal heart rhythm. I'm wondering what that was too...

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I do not remember the name of mine- but it's the one that works with my iPhone. It has a cuff (arm) that plugs into the dock (which is also a charging station for my phone which works great) I like it and it is pretty accurate but when I'm standing it almost never reads it (but my standing is pretty low- 40/25 usually) sometimes even the hospital ones don't get it. The home models are more designed for people with high BP it seems. It tracks my numbers though- love that- so I can just show a doctor if they want to see what my BP has been. There is an app you download an your phone and then good to go. I think they used the "I" letter- so it's like iHealth or something like that.

Jen

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alex74alex - I also try to get the bicep cuff on as tightly as possible and still get the "E"... but my doctors offices also have trouble taking my reading manually when I stand. The nurses alwasys say "you're here in front of me breathing, so I know there must be a BP in there somewhere". lol!

hholmes13 - it IS annoying - I really want to know what's happening with my body too. Oh well. I also get the irregular heart beat icon on my monitor every now & then - usually just due to a palpitation occuring during the monitoring process.

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I've always had trouble with the Omron units, both wrist & bicep cuffs. Similar problems to what dizzyde & hholmes13 experiences -- they just don't seem to be able to find a reading or if they do it's way off, usually obviously far too high. The only "home" model I have which works reliably is a bicep model from Microlife. 9 times out of 10 it'll flash the irregular heartbeat symbol at me angrily, like it expects me to somehow fix that problem. ALL of the home units, particularly the Omrons, are arm/wrist crushers to me. PAINFUL squeezing of my arm/wrist, to the point that they usually left marks that'd take a half hour to go away.

I still have the Microlife unit but recently got a Critikon Dinamap 8710 for home. Yes, it's a hospital ICU monitor. My Dr helped me get it and we found it used for $50 from a hospital that was upgrading their facilities. As you'd expect, it actually works quite well even with my arrhythmias. I believe it'll read down to something ridiculous like 30/10 and a pulse down to 20 or 30. Lowest I've seen it read in the past month is 74/34. pulse in the mid 30s. It also has a few other useful features like a 3-lead ECG and O2 sat. I also like that it's not the arm-crusher the home units are, only takes about 20 seconds for a reading, and I can actually find cuffs that are my size for it (small) compared to the home units which seem to be designed for the morbidly obese. Some other great features of it are the very long hose (~10 feet) and that it'll automatically take measurements at intervals and keep/print a log for you. It's great for standing exercises/poor man's tilt tests and also nice to have when I'm feeling really rough and want to see what's going on while I'm passed out.

It's been quite useful thus far and I've learned a few things. I'm not usually easily awakened, even by people shaking me and the BP monitor's clearly shown why -- I'm practically comatose when I'm sleeping. Even if I try to wake up, my BP/pulse are just so low that my body just doesn't have the oxygen it needs to get up and move. Same thing for the times I'll wake up, sit up in bed and immediately pass out. We're still finding new patterns as we get more data in from it. Kinda fun to see the correlation between types of dreams, pulse, and BP. Also have seen a correlation between my phone ringing while I'm sleeping (even if I don't remember it) and pulse/bp. I also have a few things I want to try, like setting the low BP/pulse/O2 alarms and see if I can train my body to not let it get so low.

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