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Authors

  1. Arena, Sara K. PT, DScPT
  2. Bacyinski, Andrew SPT
  3. Simon, Lee SPT
  4. Peterson, Edward L. PhD

Abstract

Hypertension is associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke, and a range of other medical sequelae. Accurate blood pressure (BP) readings, which depend on the integrity and calibration of the measuring device, are essential to identifying suboptimal BP. This study describes calibration rates of aneroid BP devices (a) utilized in home healthcare (HHC) and (b) having the needle resting within the zero accuracy indicator. BP devices from one branch of a home care agency were inspected and checked for calibration according to the protocol set forth by the European Society of Hypertension. Of the 125 devices measured, 78.4% were in calibration. Of the 94 devices with the gauge needle resting in the zero accuracy indicator, 11.7% were not in calibration; whereas, 51.6% of the 31 devices with the gauge needle resting outside the zero accuracy indicator were found not in calibration. Twenty-one devices were not checked for calibration due to inflation bulb malfunction, tubing tears, or excessive wear. Furthermore, visual inspection of the needle placement did not confirm a device as being in or out of calibration. Proper maintenance and routine calibration of BP equipment is foundational to assuring accuracy of BP readings obtained by HHC providers.