Blood Pressure Cuff Size and Placement

Nov 03, 2014

We often get calls in tech support regarding blood pressure values. While we know that all patients will experience some degree of hypotension during anesthesia, cuff size and placement can also be a factor. In fact, selection of an inappropriate cuff size is the most common source of errors. To ensure that you are selecting the proper cuff size we recommend using the cuff selector we provide you with the purchase of your monitor.  If your patient’s limb measures in between 2 sizes, we recommend choosing the larger of the two. The cuff should be placed on the limb snugly.

Proper placement is also a factor. When we go to our physician, a cuff is placed high up on our arm to be at heart level. We want to try and achieve that with our patients as well. This is not always possible since we are positioning patients for a specific procedure, but it is important to remember that blood pressure is very dynamic and our pressure value can be affected by this. Common placement areas would be the up-side fore or rear limbs of the laterally recumbent patients and the fore arm of the dorsally recumbent patient. We also want to avoid catheter limbs and go above any limb restraints. We also discourage using the tail while a patient is anesthetized, but it is acceptable for an awake patient.

Are you using tape on your blood pressure cuffs? Tape should never be used on our blood pressure cuffs. Readings will be inaccurate and you may get an error message. If the Velcro on your cuff will not close or stay closed during inflation it is too small or too worn out. Cuffs are disposable and we recommend that cuffs be replaced if they have been worn out.


To Purchase Midmark Blood pressure Cuffs click here.