Help me get a manual BP on Preemies!!

Specialties NICU



I need to get a BP on my preemie patients without using any electronic equipment. I can't hear anything, nor see the "bobble" of the mercury.:uhoh21: I am already using a top of the line cardiac stethoscope, and a proper size cuff. I would welcome any and all suggestions!!



1 Article; 2,334 Posts

Moving this to the NICU forum as they have more experience with preemies.

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

Don't know why you need to do this, but, "in the olden days", we used to get a 'flush' BP: take the foot in your hand, gently but firmly squeeze it, hold it while pumping your cuff up to about 90. Let go of the foot, release the cuff VERY SLOWLY. When you first see the "flush" of blood coming back into the foot, record that number. That's the systolic, and that's all you get.

Sometimes it helps to have an old **** like me around.


205 Posts

If the baby's pulses are strong or bounding, you may be able to feel a palpable systolic at the radial or post tib but it's pretty hard to do on most babies. Like prmenrs said, you have to go slow when you release the cuff. We used to do manual BPs up until the early 90's, using a doppler to hear the first systoic sound.

Just being nosy- why can't you use any electronic equipment for a BP?

Mimi2RN, ASN, RN

1,142 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

That's my question! Why can't you use electronic equipment?

We don't just use systolic/diastolic, we look at the mean BP. I don't know to get that using a stethoscope. :confused:

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

You don't use a stethescope. There's really no place to put it. When you do a "flush" BP, put the cuff on the lower part of the extremity. I can't think of a situation that you would have do this, but, if you have to, that's how you'd do it.

That's very cool to know prmenrs! I often wonder how you guys took BPs in the olden days! :rotfl:

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

Oh, Great. Now I get to hear about the "olden days" forever. You kids are all grounded.

Specializes in NICU, PICU, educator.

No way....I don't even know if I could do a manual on an adult anymore :roll

I remember way back when...we had to build our own UAC transducers...we had a blueprint to that was sad :eek: :roll


2 Posts

Hi all! I appreciate your responses!

I am doing Clinical Research studies in a 7 office practice setting. Because they are an office, and not a hospital unit, they only have manual equipment. It's a fabulous career opportunity, but one of my studies is comparing a new RSV vaccine to Synagis. The babies are so small :) The onyl vitals I'm used to doing are resps and temps!

Thanks again for the answers!

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