What are the numbers on blood pressure monitors mean while it’s pumping before the results?

Use to tell me my results around 130-140 now 170-175

5 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago

    The numbers are the pressure in the cuff, the cuff will blow up to over your systolic BP and then start to deflate.

  • Ian
    Lv 6
    3 weeks ago

    One is the pressure while the heart is pumping (the high one) and the other is the pressure while the heart is filling up. They're called systolic and diastolic, but I've forgotten which is which. If those figure relate to you, you need to see a doctor … quickly!

    • If you are interested in an easy mnemonic to remember which number is systolic & which is diastolic, just remember South Dakota.  (S=systolic & D=diastolic.)

  • Your blood pressure monitor is automatically TRYING to do what a clinician does manually. The clinician puts a cuff around your arm & the cuff has a bladder inside it that has a gauge that reads the pressure inside the bladder. The clinician pumps up pressure inside the bladder & then puts his or her stethoscope over your brachial artery (in the location around the crook of your elbow, also known as your ante cubital fossa). The clinician then releases the pressure in the bladder of the cuff & watches the pressure readings come down as he or she listens for the first "thump" with his or her stethoscope, & when he or she hears that first thump, he or she records that as the top number (systolic pressure) of your blood pressure reading. Then the clinician continues to let the cuff deflate, all the time watching the pressure indicated by the gauge come down & listening with his or her stethoscope until the "thumping" stops. At the point the "thumps' stop, the clinician records that as your bottom number (diastolic pressure) & the BP check is complete & the clinician lets ALL the pressure out & removes the cuff from your arm.

    So here is how this procedure is often done, although the book doesn't say it to do it exactly this way: the clinician pumps the cuff up to about 200 mm Hg & then releases the pressure in it while he or she listens for the first "thump" which is what he or she will record as your actual systolic pressure.

    With that in mind, your BP monitor is basically doing the same thing, albeit, theoretically a bit more "sanitarily". Instead of pumping right up to 200 mm Hg, the automatic cuff that you are using pumps up & searches for the pressure that it locates your brachial pulse stopping, & then it tries to pump up to 30 to 50 mm Hg above that pressure. When it decides it has achieved that pressure, it releases & the pressure comes down.

    So here is what you are observing on the monitor:

    1) the monitor is showing the pressure in the cuff around your arm as it pumps its self up above your actual systolic blood pressure.

    2) the monitor shows the pressure as the cuff deflates as it tries to detect what your systolic pressure actually is.

    3) after the automatic cuff detects your systolic pressure (the top number) it continues to deflate until it detects your diastolic pressure (the bottom number) & then it deflates very rapidly, as it has finished its job. So you are also seeing those numbers as it lets pressure off.

    So if you are watching the numbers on your monitor go up to 170, it means that your BP monitor is pumping up that high as it goes beyond  your actual systolic pressure. If it is pumping up to 170, I am guessing that your top number is around 130 to 140?

    Sorry if this was confusing. But I've had a few drinks & I cannot think of an easier way to explain it.

    Anyway, I hope that helped.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Those numbers say your will be dead soon.

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  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    They don't mean anything. Only the final numbers matter.

    • sanel3 weeks agoReport

      What is it tho? I have to do it 3x a day and always been 130ish now days straight his happening and I have bad 

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