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What to buy to measure pulse and blood pressure for lying and standing

Discussion in 'Problems Standing: Orthostatic Intolerance; POTS' started by redrachel76, May 7, 2016.

  1. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

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    I hope this is understandable through the brain fog.

    An American friend with CFS posted me a video of his fitbit showing his pulse go up excessively from lying to standing. That way he realized that he had POTS and is now getting treated in Cedar Sinai hospital.

    I want a device I can wear that can measure both pulse rate AND blood pressure when I lie down and get up and stand.

    Everyone tells me something else. Some say a fitbit watch for pulse alone. Some say a fitbit is unreliable and I should get something to wear on the chest. Which is right?

    Does anyone have any idea for brands and devices?
     
  2. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Hi @redrachel76 a simple electronic blood pressure machine will do this for you. They range 50-75$ at your local pharmacy. This is not something you'd wear all the time, but it allows for spot tests througghout the day, and with varying positions
     
  3. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

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    Can they actually be worn so that they can measure blood pressure when both lying down and during and immediately after on standing?

    Do you mean like an Omron wristwatch thing?

    I guess for pulse I would need a separate device?

    Sorry for the stupid questions. I just feel unhappy with my usual electric arm cuff monitor and know little about these things.
     
  4. BurnA

    BurnA Senior Member

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    I have a fitbit and a chest hr monitor. It depends what you want to do really. The fitbit is easy to wear all day long but won't be as accurate for instant readings. The chest strap is very accurate but cumbersome to wear all day.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
  5. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    What's wrong with your electric armcuff? it was what I was talking about. It is probably the most reliable device for BP and HR. One thing to know is to not move the arm at all when it takes the BP and to align the cuff the right way

    Alternatively they make wrist BP cuffs now but I haven't tried them.
     
  6. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I just spent time researching devices and decided on the one I want and ordered it. Basically, I don't believe that there is "wearable technology" that gives both BP and HR continuously.
    This uses the same technology as the fitbit--an optical reading from the wrist. It only gives HR, not BP and is not as accurate as one with a chest strap.
    Agreed. I got a Polar A300 with a new type soft fabric chest strap that is very comfortable. It syncs with either a smart phone or computer and gives you a graph of your pulse, your steps, your sleep, your activity level--most of the things a fitbit does. But, it is medically as accurate as an EKG. But none of these wearable devices give continuous BP readings.
    I have both a wrist BP unit (Omron) and an arm one. The wrist one is sometimes gives a little lower readings than the arm cuff.
     
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  7. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    @redrachel76

    I have one of the wrist blood pressure monitors, not an omron but the same principle.

    A) It measures heart rate.

    B) It is designed to be used by someone who is sitting in a chair. The instructions say that you are meant to sit with your feet flat on the floor, use the hand of the arm you are not measuring to hold the elbow of the arm you are measuring and place the hand of the arm that you are measuring on your chest so that the blood pressure meter is at the level of your heart.

    There are some other meters of this type that instruct you to rest your arm on a table and hold your wrist (and blood pressure monitor at the level of your heart.

    They do not work if you hold it higher or lower and they are not designed to be used in bed.

    I have tried using it in bed, lying on the side of the arm that I am measuring and holding the meter up to the level of my heart. But I do not know if this works as I do not have an upper arm meter to compare it to.

    I went for a wrist model because I thought it would be easier to use, and I have a bit of trouble putting it on but it is doable one handed. I do not know if you would be able to put on an upper arm blood pressure monitor one handed.
     
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  8. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    @Sushi

    How do you find putting on the arm cuff one handed?
     
  9. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I have not had any problem putting on either the wrist BP monitor or the arm cuff type. Both have velcro closures that make it easy. I follow the instructions you quoted for the wrist model and support my arm at chest level when using the arm cuff type.
     
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  10. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

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    So the Omron cuff type blood pressure monitors are not designed to be used in bed, and you have to hold them chest level in an odd position, which mean I can't use them standing either?.

    I want something that can be used to measure blood pressure when lying down, then afterwards after standing.

    Maybe such a thing doesn't exist?
     
  11. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    For an arm cuff, the one i used to have was ok to put on by myself. Once i had the right size, i would simply slide it off and back on again. It doesn't need to be real tight when deflated.

    Edit to add: you want to make sure the connecting tube (which inflates the cuff) is at the fold of your arm.

    also when taking your blood pressure in bed, always take it on the same arm, same position, preferably suppine. When on your side, blood pressure taken on the upper arm is different than the one on your lower arm.

    Further, do make sure you are using the right size cuff for your body weight/arm size.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
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  12. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

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  13. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    The problem is that they have not been validated for use while standing or lying down. They may well work, but I do not know that they do.

    The reason that they cannot measure blood pressure all the time is that they have to cut off/ constrain blood flow to do the measurement. According to my model you have to allow at least 1 minute beftween measurements.
     
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  14. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    @Kati and @Sushi

    I guess I have to admit that I am a little clumsy. I find putting the wrist meter on easy when things are good, but most of the time I find it fiddly. Its not really hard I know where it has to wrist, but It will often take 3 attempts.

    The idea of just sliding an arm cuff on that was already fastened in place never occured to me.
     
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  15. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    That is what I do too with the arm cuff.
     
  16. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    Yeah, it makes sense.

    I just remembered doctors putting one on me and imagined trying to wrap it around my arm and hold it in place by pressing my upper arm against my side while using my right arm to pull it tight by pulling away from my body.
     

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