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Sphygmomanometric Cuff Size and Blood Pressure Recordings

George E. Burch, MD; Lana Shewey, MD
JAMA. 1973;225(10):1215-1218. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220380037008.
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In a group of 50 adult patients, indirect blood pressure recordings were obtained with nine Velcro self-adhesive cuffs of varying widths and lengths. Ten additional patients were studied to compare direct intraarterial blood pressure recordings with recordings obtained by the auscultatory method in the same arm. The data were subjected to statistical analyses that showed that the width of the air-inflatable bladder is important and should be 12 to 14 cm. The length of the bladder contained by the cuff needs only to encircle about one half the circumference of the arm. The standard adult arm cuff with a 23 × 12.5-cm bladder is adequate for accurate indirect blood pressure determinations in an adult population. The Velcro self-adhesive cuff is preferred because of its time saving qualities and smoother application.


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