Q: Is it prudent to correlate noninvasive blood pressure (NIBP) measurements with arterial blood pressure measurements? My understanding is that the accuracy of arterial blood pressure measurements is assessed by doing the square-wave test and leveling, not by correlating the arterial measurements with the NIBP values. However, I observe the practice of correlating with the NIBP values so often, it makes me wonder if I have misunderstood my previous training on arterial catheters.

A: Barbara McLean, RN, MN, CCNS-BC, NP-BC, CCRN, replies:

Many critically ill patients are monitored with continuous blood pressure measurements, which provide clinicians with the important measures of systolic blood pressure (reflecting the change of pressure in the artery related to ventricular stroke volume) and diastolic blood pressure (related to vascular tone), as well as the calculated mean arterial pressure and pulse pressure. The physiology of blood pressure monitoring is quite complex, and the meanings of the...

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