Accurate measurement of blood pressure (BP) is essential to guide management decisions and prevent adverse outcomes. Noninvasive BP (NIBP) monitoring is a safe practice; however, complications can occur. The most common complication is bruising and skin irritation from compression. Conditions that place patients at high risk for complications include diabetes, arterial or venous insufficiency, preexisting peripheral neuropathies, decreased limb perfusion, thrombolytic therapy, anticoagulation therapy, increased arm activity, irregular cardiac rhythms, and decreased level of consciousness.

Measure BP in the upper arm unless contraindicated.

Use the appropriate size cuff and ensure that the patient is appropriately positioned.

Compare acquired values with the actual assessment of the patient and his or her clinical condition.

Evaluate the skin at the site and circulation in the extremity being used for BP measurement.

Plan BP measurement to occur at intervals that ensure appropriate monitoring without undue risk for complications.

Follow your facility’s procedure for documenting...

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