BACKGROUND: Patients receiving thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction require frequent monitoring of blood pressure. Historically, many nurses have been reluctant to use automatic blood pressure cuffs during thrombolytic therapy because of concern that the automatic cuffs might increase risk of bleeding. This concern is not based on research findings but on case reports, anecdotal observations, and possible myths in clinical practice. OBJECTIVE: To determine the safety of using automatic blood pressure cuffs during thrombolytic therapy in patients with acute myocardial infarction. METHODS: Ninety-six patients with acute myocardial infarction who received thrombolytic therapy (streptokinase or tissue plasminogen activator) were randomized to have blood pressure measurements obtained with either automatic or manual blood pressure cuffs. Patients were checked at least every 2 hours for purpuric lesions (petechiae, ecchymoses, or hematomas). The study ended after 24 hours of measurements or when a purpuric lesion was noted. RESULTS: We found no significant difference in frequency of purpuric lesions between patients who had blood pressure measured with a manual cuff and patients who had blood pressure measured with an automatic cuff. The most common purpuric lesions noted were ecchymoses. A significant difference was noted in the frequency of purpuric lesions depending on which thrombolytic agent was used, regardless of cuff type. CONCLUSIONS: Automatic blood pressure cuffs are as safe as manual blood pressure cuffs in patients with acute myocardial infarction who are receiving thrombolytic therapy.
Articles| May 01 1998
The safety of automatic versus manual blood pressure cuffs for patients receiving thrombolytic therapy
Am J Crit Care (1998) 7 (3): 192-196.
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L Saul, J Smith, W Mook; The safety of automatic versus manual blood pressure cuffs for patients receiving thrombolytic therapy. Am J Crit Care 1 May 1998; 7 (3): 192–196. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ajcc19184.108.40.206
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