Taking BP on a shaking patient

Nurses New Nurse


Long story, but I took the BP of a person with strong shaking of both arms and it was atleast 200 systolic and 95 diastolic... could the shaking cause the high result, I mean, is there a chance the BP was actually lower and I took the strong tremors for being pulse beats? I heard the beats really well, but couldn't tell exactly the systolic because the person thought it hurt too much when I pumped up to 200 so there was never a silence before the beats began. The patient was otherwise fine and I referred him to the community clinic. I just wonder if my result was real and how to interpret results next time I've got someone with severe tremors. I'm really new and I never heard anything about this in school.


If you used a electronic dinamap I would be very careful in believing the results. If you took it manually I wouldn't worry to much. When in question do it manually always. Most doctors prefer a manual reading then a electronic reading.

thanks for the answer! yes it was manual...

Sometimes getting a reading is not easy. Did the patient know what his usual BP was?

I work in a procedure lab where we do exercise stress testing and sometimes getting those readings when patients are running on a treadmill is difficult but, if you can hear it, you can believe it. You described not being allowed to inflate the cuff high enough for a true systolic reading and you referred the patient to an outpatient clinic which sounds appropriate (if they could get an appointment soon). I would also have considered referring the patient to the ER (depending on circumstances in your area) since you couldn't really tell how high above 200 the systolic reading actually was.

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