Frequently asked questions
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure refers to the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels. It is defined as the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps out blood.
Blood pressure is measured in mmHg. The abbreviation mmHg means millimeters of mercury. Mercury was used in the original accurate pressure gauges and is still used in medicine today as the standard unit of measurement for pressure.
Blood pressure numbers include systolic (sis-TOL-ik) and diastolic (di-a-STOL-ik) readings.
If blood pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body and create serious health concerns. It is beneficial to check and track your blood pressure regularly and share the results with your healthcare professional to manage any issues.
What are Systolic and Diastolic?
Systolic is the top number in a blood pressure measurement. It represents the is the pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood through the body
Diastolic is the bottom number. It represents the pressure between beats, when your heart relaxes.
What is more important - Systolic or Diastolic reading?
Both measurements are important. One measures your blood pressure during a heart contraction and the other measures blood pressure between heart contractions.
The table below from the American Heart Association (AHA) shows normal readings for adults. It also shows which numbers put you at greater risk for health problems.
Is it normal for my blood pressure to vary?
Fluctuations in blood pressure readings are not uncommon, and blood pressuremay be affected by a variety of situations. Activity levels, stress, food or drink intake, and even time of day can all affect a person’s blood pressure reading at any given time.
Normally, blood pressure rises during work or activity and falls to its lowest levels during sleep. The best way to get consistent readings is to monitor your blood pressure at the same time each day. This will minimize the effect that external factors have on the reading.
It is also helpful to use averages over time to compare readings and review the overall results with your health care professional. Alcedo Health Blood Pressure Monitors automatically averages three values for a more precise comparison of readings.
What are the common causes of inaccurate blood pressure readings?
It is quite normal for people’s blood pressure to change throughout the day and night, or in different settings. Common causes that may lead to inconsistent or inaccurate readings include:
- Incorrect cuff size
It’s absolutely essential to have a cuff that is the right size for your arm in order to obtain an accurate reading. Using the incorrect cuff size will likely result in inaccurate readings, inconsistent readings, and error messages from the device. Just because you can wrap the cuff around your arm, does not mean it is the proper size.
If the cuff is too small, your blood pressure reading will be artificially high
If your cuff is too large, you may get a lower-than-actual reading
To determine the proper cuff size, measure the circumference of your upper arm at the midpoint between shoulder and elbow with your arm hanging at the side of your body. Based on that information, you can determine what size cuff would work best for you.
- Incorrect position of the cuff
The proper positioning of the cuff is as follows:
Remove any tight-fitting clothing from your left arm
Put your left arm through the cuff loop
The bottom of the cuff should be about one inch (2-3 cm) above your elbow
Turn your arm so your palm is facing up
Adjust the cuff around your arm so that the tubing runs down the center of your arm
Secure the cuff so it stays in place
You should be able to fit one finger between the cuff and your arm. This spacing is important for an accurate reading. Blood pressure measurement detects your blood’s movement through your brachial artery and converts the movements into a digital reading.
- Improper use of the cuff
In order to get the precise blood pressure values, the cuff must be wrapped around the arm in the correct position. Alcedo’s Automatic Blood Pressure Cuff is pre-formed for easy use. After wrapping the cuff around your arm, check the location of the brachial artery marker on the cuff. The air tube should run down the center of your arm. The cuff should not be wrapped too tight or too loose. Refer to the product instruction manual for detailed instructions on the specific cuff included with your unit.
- Activities right before taking a measurement
Take blood pressure measurements in a quiet and relaxed state for optimal readings.
Avoid eating, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, exercise, and bathing at least 30 minutes prior to taking a measurement
Empty your bladder
Avoid stressful situations
Sit quietly for five to fifteen minutes in a comfortable position before beginning to monitor your blood pressure
- Body position and movement
Excess movement or talking during the process may lead to errors in measurement. When taking your blood pressure, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Rest your arm on a table with your palm facing upward. The cuff should be level with your heart. The Alcedo Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor features a Movement Error Symbol to show if there is excess movement or talking during the measurement.
- Timing of taking measurements
Try to take readings at the same general times each day (for example, once in the morning and once at night). Store readings in the Alcedo Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor for comparison purposes.
What are the benefits of home blood pressure monitoring?
The American Heart Association recommends that anyone with, or at risk of high blood pressure, should monitor their blood pressure at home. There are several benefits to monitoring blood pressure at home:
White Coat Hypertension. Many individuals find that they become apprehensive and tense while having their blood pressure taken at a doctor’s office, hospital, or clinical setting. This can cause falsely elevated readings, commonly known as “white coat hypertension”. One way to help determine if this is happening to you is to take your own readings in the comfort of your home and compare them with readings from your doctor. Discuss any fluctuations with your healthcare professional to identify and resolve any health issues.
Additional Data. Self-measurement at home can support a doctor’s readings and may provide a more accurate and complete blood pressure history. Monitoring your blood pressure at home on a regular basis provides you and your healthcare professional with the information to best manage your blood pressure.
Awareness. Self-monitoring can help your doctor diagnose high blood pressure earlier than if you have only occasional blood pressure readings in a medical office. High blood pressure (also referred to as HBP, or hypertension) is when your blood pressure levels are consistently too high. Unfortunately, most of the time there are no obvious symptoms for hypertension.
Impact of Medications. Never alter your prescriptions without first consulting with your healthcare professional. The best way to know whether your lifestyle changes or medications are working is to check your blood pressure regularly. Monitoring blood pressure changes at home can help you and your doctor make decisions about your treatment, such as adjusting dosages or changing medications.
Self-Management. Self-monitoring can give you a stronger sense of responsibility for your health. You may feel even more motivated to control your blood pressure with an improved diet, physical activity, and proper medication use if you monitor and see results from blood pressure readings.
Are home monitoring and medical office readings different?
Most medical offices use the familiar auscultation process. In auscultation, stethoscopes are used to take blood pressure by listening for specific heartbeat sounds which the doctor then uses to determine systolic and diastolic pressures.
Digital monitors measure blood pressure by a process known as oscillometric. An oscillometric monitor does not need a stethoscope so it is much simpler to use.
Oscillometric technology measures the vibration of blood traveling through the arteries and converts the movement into digital readings
It is a non-invasive process utilizing an automated cuff
Oscillometric is an advancement that no longer relies on an individual to listen for the audible sounds that occur during constricted blood flow
The oscillometric method has been well accepted worldwide for over 30 years and is so accurate that it is now used in hospitals. Alcedo Automatic Blood Pressure Monitors use the oscillometric method of blood pressure measurement for convenience and easy-of-use.
Should I use an arm or wrist blood pressure monitor?
It is quite possible that your readings may be different from your upper arm to your wrist as blood pressure varies throughout the human body.
Wrist blood pressure monitors are extremely sensitive to body position. Measurements taken at the wrist are usually higher and less accurate than those taken at your upper arm, according to research. In part, this is due to the wrist arteries being narrower and not as deep under your skin as those of the upper arm.
The American Heart Association recommends using a home blood pressure monitor that measures blood pressure in your upper arm for accuracy, instead of wrist or finger blood pressure monitors.
However, some people cannot have their blood pressure measured at the upper arm because they have a very large circumference or find the process painful. In these cases, measuring blood pressure at the wrist is acceptable
All Alcedo Blood Pressure Monitors, whether upper arm or wrist, are validated in the same manner and have the same accuracy specifications. Discuss which option is best for you by talking with your healthcare professional.
Are digital blood pressure monitors accurate?
It is always important to investigate accuracy and ease-of-use before purchasing any home blood pressure monitor. It is of great importance to have products evaluated and validated in accordance with industry protocols.
All Alcédo Blood Pressure Monitors are thoroughly tested and clinically proven accurate. They meet the Association of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) standards and are validated to be within the following accepted ranges:
Blood pressure: within +/- 3 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) (0.4 Kpa)
Pulse: within +/- 5 percent of reading
Should blood pressure be measured in the right or left arm?
Blood pressure measurement values vary from the left arm to the right arm. In part, this is due to the fact that the blood flow from the heart to the left arm is more direct than to the right arm. Therefore, in order to get the most accurate numbers, the left arm is usually preferred.
The average reading between the left and right arm is generally within 10 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) for most individuals.
Alcédo Health Blood Pressure Monitors are generally designed for use on the left arm and validated through clinical studies using the left arm. You should talk to your healthcare professional before using the right arm to take a measurement.
Are Alcedo Blood Pressure Monitors FDA approved?
Alcedo home blood pressure monitors are required to go through an FDA inspection and clearance process (known as 510(k)) prior to marketing.
What’s the difference between blood pressure and pulse?
Blood pressure is the force of your blood moving through your blood vessels. Your pulse is actually your heart rate and is the number of times your heart beats per minute.
Each measure distinctly different factors related to your heart health:
- Blood pressure is the force of blood flowing against the walls of your arteries
- Heart rate, referred to as your pulse refers to the number of times your heart beats in one minute
What do I do if my blood pressure medications do not work?
You should contact your healthcare professional any situation relating to your medicines. Only your doctor is qualified to diagnose and prescribe medication, or make changes to prescriptions in managing blood pressure.
I keep getting error messages when I try to take a reading. What should I do?
Please refer to the instruction manual included with your Alcedo Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor that describes various error messages. You can also locate electronic instruction manuals on our website www.AlcedoHealth.com. If this does not fully resolve the issue, please contact the Alcedo consumer support team or e-mail us your question.
How do I delete the stored data in my unit?
The Alcedo Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor provides storage of up to 120 readings. Should you have the need to delete the stored data, please refer to the instruction manual for the specific unit your purchased. Electronic versions of the instruction manuals can be found on our website www.AlcedoHealth.com.
Suture Practice Kit FAQ
What is suturing?
Sutures are often referred to as stitches, and are an integral part of medicine today and at some point, in their career, every medical and veterinary professional will encounter sutures.
Suturing is a form of skin stitching which is done to speed up wound healing. It is done with a sterilized needle and thread. Suturing techniques are helpful to repair deep wounds and help prevent the threat of infection. It takes practice to be able to properly suture injuries, cuts, and abrasions. Practice kits are a good option to help master the process and are highly recommended.
What is included in Alcedo Health Suture Practice Kit?
Our complete Suture Practice Kit includes everything you need to practice the technique of suturing. This comprehensive kit includes all the essential suture tools in one package:
- Suture pad
- Hegar needle holders
- Adson forceps
- Suture scissors
- Scalpel blades (5-pack)
- Suture thread (16-pack)
- Storage case
What are the specifications of the suture pad?
The durable, reusable, and high-quality suture pad is designed to replicate the anatomical structure of human tissue. It provides three layers to provide the best human tissue simulation possible:
The suture pad also features an improved built-in "mesh layer" between the skin and the fat layers. This feature improves the durability of the suture training pad and prevents rips of the skin layer for the most realistic simulation.
The life-like textures are presented in a variety of wounds, and the high-quality silicone suture pad is extremely realistic to help students learn the proper process for closing wounds in a real-world setting. It allows for practicing suturing techniques with the most authentic and true-to-life conditions possible.
The suture pad comes with 14 wounds of 10 types and has sufficient space for additional cuts. This large (17 cm x 13 cm) pad will last and serve you for a long time.
Is the Suture Practice pad reusable?
Yes. We use recyclable materials that don’t hinder the recycling process and with good care, it can be used over 100 times.
How can I carry all these components together?
Alcedo Health provides a sturdy, yet lightweight compact custom carrying case to hold all items in the practice kit. It allows for conveniently transporting the components in one, secure carrier and allows for optimum organization in the busy life of exams, studies, and teaching.
How was the Alcedo Health Suture Kit developed?
Extensive testing with medical students has been done with the Alcedo Health Suture Practice Kit which allows us to continually improve and develop the perfect product. This surgical training product will benefit the confidence of students and instructors to help improve care for patients whether you are learning your first stitch or if you are refreshing your skills.
Who should use Alcedo Health Suture Practice Kit?
This complete suture set is perfect for the medical or veterinary student, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant in training. It is also ideal for teaching demonstrations and practice before starting a residency or a permanent job in the medical field. This kit is for education and demonstration purposes for practicing different suturing techniques and is not designed to be used in real life scenarios.
Can I buy extra suture pads or other components separately?
Unfortunately, we don't provide extra suture pads.