The Problem of Measurement

AHA Updates Recommendations for BP Measurements

In the office or hospital, the mercury sphygmomanometer, using the first and fifth phases of the Korotkoff sounds, is still the preferred method for blood pressure measurement. However, these devices are gradually being replaced, in part because of environmental concerns about mercury contamination.
Aneroid devices are a suitable alternative, but they require frequent calibration. Hybrid devices using electronic transducers instead of mercury may prove to be a valid option. Although the oscillometric method can be used to take multiple measurements in the office, only devices independently validated by standard protocols should be used, and individual calibration is preferred.

Good grief…It’s going to be really hard to do anything soon, since we won’t be able to measure anything with confidence. I haven’t yet been in a place where aneroid instruments (or indeed, most instruments) are calibrated with the frequency that they should be. One would think that with the technology at our disposal, we would come up with a non-toxic, reliable standard for something that is synonymous with routine medical care. Oh well.