Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood against the wall of a blood vessel. It is commonly measured in a large artery with an inflatable cuff (Fig. 9-4) known as a blood pressure cuff or blood pressure apparatus, but technically called a sphygmomanometer. Both systolic and diastolic pressures are measured and reported as systolic then diastolic separated by a slash, such as 120/80. Pressure is expressed as millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), that is, the height to which the pressure can push a column of mercury in a tube. Blood pressure is a valuable diagnostic measurement that is easily obtained.
Was this article helpful?
This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.