How to take your blood pressure

According to studies conducted, about 30 percent of those afflicted with hypertension are not even aware that they have the problem. This has led some medical experts to refer it to as the century’s silent killer. Hypertension does not have any symptoms specific to the disease. Its crop of usual symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, weakness and nosebleeds can just as easily be connected with other common medical problems. Some do not even exhibit any symptoms at all. In fact, for most people, the symptoms do not even occur until after the condition has gone way past the mild stage and has reached the life-threatening stage.

The significance of this is further highlighted by the fact that high blood pressure is essentially a lifestyle disease. Unlike other medical problems brought on by viral or bacterial infection, high blood pressure progress from mild to worst depending on the lifestyle of the person.

Because of the lack of symptoms, experts advise people especially those 35 years old and above to regularly have their blood pressure checked.

Blood pressure is determined through the use of the sphygmomanometer. The machine is actually easy to use that there have been versions that were created for personal and home use.

Infant blood pressure machine

An infant blood pressure machine is preferred by pediatricians. There are many pieces of equipment that can be used to measure blood pressure in infants, and the main principle in their use is how to use them correctly to ensure a correct reading is obtained. An infant blood pressure machine may have cuffs of variable size that can be changed to be suitable to the child having their blood pressure observed, but it is very important that the right sized cuff is used; otherwise a false reading will be obtained.

It’s very important to keep the child calm whilst they have their blood pressure taken. Most children dislike this procedure as it can be uncomfortable; therefore if any sort of excitation occurs in the infant, this may ultimately cause a false reading. Dolls or other interesting toys can be used to try and keep the infant occupied whilst having their blood pressure taken. It’s also a good idea to let the child explore the machine to try and lessen their fear of it.

Infant blood pressure machines usually have a digital read out, there is no excuse in this day and age especially in western countries for children to have their blood pressure taken with an old fashioned mercury type sphygmomanometer. It would be virtually impossible to take it this way anyway as the child would become very distressed.

How to take blood pressure

Taking a person’s blood pressure can sometimes be quite a complex procedure with quite a number of different factors being taken into consideration. These include alcohol, before having your blood pressure taken you should not consume any alcoholic beverages. If alcohol is taken, this can cause the blood pressure to become raised therefore giving a false reading.

A blood pressure is taken using an instrument called a sphygmomanometer. If the reading is to be correct, at least two readings should be taken at an interval of two minutes and the average value is to be used as the specific value of blood pressure. However this is very rarely done.

An old fashioned sphygmomanometer consists of a cuff, meter, pump and valve. The cuff is used to inflate the area around the upper arm and a pump is then used to build pressure in the cuff, so as to arrest the blood circulation. The pressure is slowly released and the doctor concurrently auscultates the blood vessel in the arm at the higher and lower level. These two levels are known as the systolic and diastolic measurement.

The systolic pressure which is the higher sound is due to myocardial contraction and diastolic pressure (the lower sound) is due to myocardial relaxation.

Treatment of Measles

Because measles is caused by a virus, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. And, like most viral illnesses, a measles infection (in the majority of cases) can simply be left to run its course.

In most cases, measles treatment simply involves treatment of the symptoms, with paracetamol, regular rinsing of the mouth, and plenty of fluids to drink.

If you suspect that your child has measles then contact your child’s doctor. Close contact with your doctor will let you both monitor your child’s progress and will help identify the onset of any complications.

At home, it is important to regularly monitor the sufferer’s progress and to check for the onset of any complications before they have a chance to become serious or life threatening. The sufferer’s temperature should be monitored, and a written record kept of the readings, dates, and times. If the temperature climbs above 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius), then seek medical advice.

It is also beneficial and safe to use acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and other fever medications to bring down a fever.

WARNING DO NOT USE ASPIRIN. Unless instructed by your child’s doctor, don’t give aspirin to a child who has a viral illness since the use of aspirin in such cases has been associated with the development of Reye Syndrome – a serious and potentially deadly encephalitis-like illness. Instead, acetaminophen and ibuprofen may be used safely.

Measles Transmission and Infection

The measles virus resides in the mucus in the nose and throat of infected people. When they sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air and the droplets remain active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to two hours.

Measles is a highly contagious disease, and about 90% of non-immunized persons will develop measles if they live in the same house as someone who has the disease. The measles virus can be spread to other people from airborne droplets of fluid from the nose or mouth. People with measles are usually contagious from about 5 days after exposure to about 5 days after the rash appears.

Diagnosis of measles is usually based on the symptoms. Various laboratory tests may help with the diagnosis, but they are usually unnecessary.

In some cases, if your doctor suspects that you or your child has measles, a virus culture or serologic blood test may be needed. This blood test can detect measles antibodies, which indicate whether you have had a recent or past infection of the disease.

If you suspect that you or your child has measles, then contact your doctor as soon as possible to avoid the risk of developing complications or spreading the disease.

Symptoms of Measles

Measles begins with a high fever that lasts for a couple of days, with temperatures reaching as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.6 degrees Celsius).

Other symptoms include a hacking cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis (also called pink eye), which is characterised by sore, red eyes which are sensitive to light. A rash starts on the face and upper neck, spreads down the back and trunk, and then extends to the arms and hands, as well as the legs and feet. After about five days, the rash fades in the same order that it appeared, face first and feet last.

As the rash disappears, the healing skin may look brown temporarily, before it sheds in a finely textured peel.

One special identifying sign of measles is Koplik’s spots. These are small, red, irregularly-shaped spots with blue-white centres found inside the mouth. Koplik’s spots usually appear 1 to 2 days before the measles rash and may be noticed by a doctor looking for the cause of a child’s fever and cough.

Measles itself is unpleasant, but the many complications it can cause are dangerous.

Serious (but rare) complications can result from measles, such as croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, diarrhoea, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, myocarditis, hepatitis, and brain inflammation (encephalitis). Immediate medical treatment should be obtained if there is any sign of these occurring.

Information on measles

Measles, also known as rubeola, is an infectious viral disease that primarily affects the a respiratory system and mostly occurs in winter and spring.

The most common symptoms of measles include fever, a hacking cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, and a spreading rash. Measles can also cause a range of serious complications.

The incubation period for measles is about 2 weeks between exposure to the virus and the appearance of the rash.

Most symptoms of measles subside 1 or 2 days after the rash begins, but the cough and rash usually last 10-14 days.

Measles, like all viral diseases, cannot be treated with antibiotics. Also like most viral illnesses, a measles infection can normally be left to run its course. Fortunately, most children and adults recover from measles within 2-3 weeks without developing any serious complications.

Usually, the only treatment that is required for measles sufferers is treatment of their symptoms, with paracetamol, regular rinsing of the mouth, and plenty of fluids to drink.

Serious (but rare) complications can result from measles, such as croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, diarrhoea, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, myocarditis, hepatitis, and brain inflammation (encephalitis). Immediate medical treatment should be obtained if there is any sign of these occurring.

Prevention Of Mumps

As with most viral illnesses, the best way to prevent mumps is via vaccination.

Even in developed countries, where vaccination programs are common, there are misguided and misinformed people who refuse vaccination for themselves and/or their children. To protect these foolish people, and visitors to your area from other countries who have not been vaccinated, contact should be limited until a medical diagnosis has been established excluding mumps, or until at least 4 days have passed since the symptoms subsided.

A mumps vaccine can be given, but this only protects against mumps. It is far more common for the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine to be given, as this immunizes the child against all 3 diseases.

The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine prevents measles, mumps, and rubella. These three vaccines are safe given together. MMR is an attenuated (weakened) live virus vaccine, which means that after injection, the viruses grow and cause a harmless version of the infection in the vaccinated person with no symptoms or very mild symptoms. After the vaccination, the person’s immune system fights the infection caused by the weakened versions of the measles-mumps-rubella viruses and life-long immunity develops.