Recommendations for blood pressure measuring devices for office/clinic use in low resource settings


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Abstract

This paper, which summarizes the conclusions of a WHO Expert meeting, is aimed at proposing indications to develop technical specifications for an accurate and affordable blood pressure measuring device for office/clinic use in low resource settings. Blood pressure measuring devices to be used in low resource settings should be accurate, affordable, and easily available worldwide. Given the serious inherent inaccuracy of the auscultatory technique, validated and affordable electronic devices, that have the option to select manual readings, seem to be a suitable solution for low resource settings. The agreement on the technical specifications for automated blood pressure measuring devices for office/clinic use in low resource settings included the following features: high accuracy, adoption of electronic transducers and solar batteries for power supply, standard rates of cuff inflation and deflation, adequate cuff size, digital display powered by solar batteries, facilities for adequate calibration, environmental requirements, no need of memory function, resistance to shock and temperature changes, and low cost. Availability of a device with these features should be accompanied by adequate training of health care personnel, who should guarantee implementation of the procedures recommended in recent European and American Guidelines for accurate blood pressure measurement.

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