low platelets and measuring blood pressure


I am a student doing my Med-Surg rotation on a hem-onc floor. The standard practice there is to do manual blood pressure measurments rather than using the automatic blood pressure devices, and I was told it was because of low platelets and bleeding/bruising risk. Is this evidence-based practice? It makes sense, but I am looking for literature to support this for an assignment, and I can't seem to find any! Anyone have anything on this??

[As an aside, I hope to be an oncology nurse and feel very fortunate to be working on this floor!]

iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,773 Posts

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

I would Google.....thrombocytopenia or thrombocytopenia purpura and nursing care and you should be able to find some general recommendations. I have TP and i can tell you when they use an automatic cuff or for that matter inflate the BP cuff up too high I get horrible petechia


5 Posts

Thanks iluvrvt for sharing your personal experience. Before I posted the original message, I googled all kinds of terms but not the terms you mentioned exactly so I'll try that. I understand what the guidelines are and why, but for my assignment I need literature references that support the practice.



45 Posts

Specializes in Surgical Oncology- just starting.

Google has a scholar search. Put you keywords in this type of search and see what is returned.


19 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg. Oncology. GYN.. Has 3 years experience.

We use automatic cuffs even with platelets below 20. Perhaps that facility has had a problem in the past. A lawsuit usually leads to change in practice.

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