Do You Need a Blood Pressure Cuff in Your First Aid Supplies?

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blood pressure cuff

You will need a stethoscope to use with it.

I have included a blood pressure cuff, also known as an Aneroid Sphygmomanometer in my medical supplies.  Now I have had people tell me that this is not something that should be included unless you have had medical training. They argue that it will be useless to the average person.

However, I disagree a blood pressure cuff can be handy in many ways.  If you have people in your group that have high blood pressure this can help you monitor them and determine whether exercise, diet or alternate medicines are helping them.  Extra medical gear is always good to have, even if you don’t know how to use it.  Medically trained people may be available that do not have access to medical equipment.

I would suggest that you get a manual blood pressure cuff and stethoscope.  The manual cuffs are extremely accurate, with a minimum of training, they are easy to use and never require batteries. You do need to have a stethoscope.

Normal blood pressure can vary with age, condition and genetics.  The following should be a good guide to help you determine what is normal.

top number (systolic) in mm Hg Bottom number (diastolic) in mm Hg Your category
Below 120 and Below 80 Normal blood pressure
Between 120-139 or Between 80-89 Prehypertension
Between 140-159 or Between 90-99 Stage 1 hypertension
160 or higher or 100 or higher Stage 2 hypertension

Blood pressure cuffs come in sizes

You may need to get more than one cuff.  Recently I was present when an older overweight person had heart problems at a social activity.  Several experienced medical people were on the scene, but had no equipment with them.  Having a first aid kit with me, I loaned one of them my blood pressure cuff.  Much to my surprise it would not fit, their arm was too large.  They needed an extra large cuff.  Prior to this incident, I did not know they came in sizes.  So if you have someone in your family or group that is unusually large or small you may want to check it out and make sure your cuff will fit.

A good list of medical supplies you should have on hand.  An Updated List of Medical Supplies


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