Blood pressure is expressed as two figures, e.g. 140/80 millimeters of mercury or mmHg. For a diabetic patient the blood pressure should be no greater than 130/80. Hence diabetic patients need to keep monitoring their blood pressure to make sure it lies within the expected range, since a higher blood pressure increases the risk of diabetes complications like cardiovascular disease, and so on.
Accuracy of the monitor
In order to be assured that your home blood pressure monitor is giving correct results, you need to make sure it is accurate. To do this, always choose a monitor that is marked as ‘clinically validated’ by the British Hypertension Society for accuracy. A clinically validated monitor undergoes various tests to ensure that the results it gives can be trusted.
Make sure the cuff of an upper arm blood pressure monitor is the right size for you. A wrong cuff size can lead to an inaccurate reading. As most monitors come with a medium sized cuff, you may need to order a cuff of a different size separately.
Calibrating a blood pressure monitor
To ensure that the blood pressure monitor is working correctly, it needs to be re-calibrated at least every two years. The time period varies depending on the manufacturer, and your usage of the monitor. If you use the blood pressure monitor more frequently, you may need to send it for calibration annually or as recommended by the manufacturer.
To re-calibrate it, you need to send it to the manufacturer who will charge a fee for this tune-up. You can also take your blood pressure monitor to your physician for calibration. The difference in the measurement between the physician’s monitor and your own will help in recalibrating it.