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Make sure you purchase and provide patients with devices best suited for them.


Make sure you purchase and provide patients with devices best suited for them.

Nurse putting cuff on elderly patient

Devices with an upper arm cuff provide the most accurate blood pressure readings. Wrist cuffs should not be used unless the patient cannot use an upper arm cuff due to arm size being too large to fit a cuff or for medical reasons. Finger devices should never be used. Clinical guidelines do not recommend the use of finger devices because they are less accurate than upper arm devices.

Measuring a person's arm.

Measure Your Patient’s Arm

Wrap a tape measure around the patient’s bicep, at mid-arm to determine the arm circumference (typically measured in cm).

Select a Cuff Size Based on Arm Circumference

The ideal cuff bladder length is ≥ 80 percent of the patient’s arm circumference. The ideal cuff bladder width is ≥ 40 percent of the patient’s arm circumference.

Arm Circumference Recommended Cuff Size (width x length in cm)
cm in  
22 – 26 8.7 – 10.2 12 x 22 (small adult)*
27 – 34 10.6 – 13.4 16 x 30 (adult)*
35 – 44 13.8 – 17.3 16 x 36 (large adult)*
45 – 52 17.7 – 20.5 16 x 42 (extra-large adult)
*Many devices are sold with variable size cuffs that will fit a majority of arms from the small adult to large adult range. Check device specifications for the range of arm circumferences covered. Example: If a patient has a 40 cm arm circumference, 80% of the arm circumference is 0.8 x 40 cm = 32 cm. The minimum cuff length that can be used for this person is 32 cm, which is a large adult cuff.


Manage Devices

Getting Prepared

Loaning Out Devices

Selecting a Cuff Size

Training Patients

Collecting Data

Managing Your Devices

“Interventions such as goal setting, provision of feedback, self-monitoring, follow-up, motivational interviewing and promotion of self-sufficiency are most effective when combined.”

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