Sphygmomanometer, the original blood pressure device is used for measuring the blood pressure.

This machine or instrument is used in the medical field and it has its importance. It has different names like blood pressure meter and blood pressure gauge. It includes a measuring unit, an inflatable cuff, and a device to inflate the cuff. It is used for measuring blood pressure and blood pressure stands for force applied to the artery walls.

Definition of a sphygmomanometer

Sphygmomanometer is an instrument used in the medical field for the measurement of blood pressure. It is also known as the blood pressure monitor blood pressure gauge or blood pressure meter.

It is seen that sphygmomanometer is a word that is come from a Greek word, sphygmos which means beating of the pulse or heart (Medicinenet, 2022).

Manometer here stands for measuring the pressure or tension. Samuel Siegfried Karl Ritter von Basch discovers this instrument in the year 1881. Later, Scipione Riva-Rocci simplifies the version of the machine in 1896.


Figure 1: Sphygmomanometer

Different types of a sphygmomanometer

Mainly three types of sphygmomanometer can be seen in the medical field. They are -

  •  Automatic digital sphygmomanometer,
  •  Aneroid sphygmomanometer
  •  Mercury sphygmomanometer

The first one is the most advanced technology-based type of sphygmomanometer (Conductscience, 2022). An electronic sensor is used for the measurement of blood.

The second one is an instrument that is used without the presence of mercury. It includes the stethoscope which is attached to the cuff.

Three types of aneroid sphygmomanometer can be seen. They are- Clock-style aneroid sphygmomanometer, Palm aneroid sphygmomanometer, and Pocket-aneroid sphygmomanometer.

Mercury sphygmomanometer is the most traditional sphygmomanometer used for the measurement of blood pressure.

It is one of the golden standards of a machine and it consists of manually inflatable cuffs which are attached to the mercury-infused tubes (Park & Park, 2019). A correct reading of the BP can be get by placing the instrument on a flat surface. This type of instrument lasts for a long time and its use of this is easy.

Parts of a sphygmomanometer

A sphygmomanometer includes different parts like the Cuff, Bladder, Manometer, Bulb, and Valve.

  • The parts have their own works and a bladder here means an inflatable bag which is used for compressing the arm for occluding the artery. It is seen that they have specific size parameters that ensure full arterial compression (Martin et al. 2021).
  • A cuff, on the other hand, is designed for holding the bladder around the arm at the time of measurement. Manometer is a device for measuring the air pressure in mmHg.
  • An aneroid sphygmomanometer manometer consists of a watch-like movement which helps in measuring the air pressure.
  • Valve is used for controlling the cuff and it plays a crucial role in getting an accurate measurement. Bulb is used for pumping the air into the cuff.

Process of using a sphygmomanometer

The use of a sphygmomanometer needs to follow some procedures. The cuff bladder’s length is used for measuring blood pressure and it should be equal to 80% of the circumference of the upper arm (Allheart, 2022). After that, one has to wrap up the cuff around the upper arm in such a way that the lower edge of the cuff remains one inch above the antecubital fossa. After that, one has to press the bell of the stethoscope lightly over the artery, then release the air from the cuff at a moderate rate of 180 mmHg.

Digital sphygmomanometer

Figure 2: Digital sphygmomanometer

After that, they have to monitor the knowing sound of the stethoscope and it is done for both the pressure and arms. It is seen that when the blood pressure will be then it should be measured with a few minute gaps between the two measurements (Martin et al. 2021). When the blood pressure is more than 180/120mmHg then immediate actions should be taken.

Uses of a sphygmomanometer

Sphygmomanometer is a medical instrument that is made for monitoring the blood pressure. The measurement of blood pressure is done through the measurement of the force of the blood in the heart and it is seen that the blood pressure remains highest in the heart (Medlineplus, 2022). The use of a sphygmomanometer is mainly done for the establishment of a service line at a healthcare meet and it is used on admission to a hospital.

Uses of a sphygmomanometer

Figure 3: Uses of a sphygmomanometer

It is seen that an examination of blood pressure is done for knowing the potency of medication and other methods for curbing hypertension. This is also done for diagnosis and it helps to discover different diseases as well as abnormalities.


Nowadays hypertension, also known as high blood pressure is a common health problem. The measurement of this pressure in blood is measured through a medical instrument and it is known as the Sphygmomanometer. The instrument is a gift to the medical field that helps to measure the high Blood Pressure (BP) problem of a person. It includes different parts like the cuff, bladder and many more. A certain process is needed for the measurement of blood through this instrument.


Q1. How many types of sphygmomanometers can be seen?

Ans. Mainly three types of sphygmomanometers can be seen in the medical field. They are- the Aneroid sphygmomanometer, Mercury sphygmomanometer and Automatic digital sphygmomanometer. All of them are used for measuring pressure in blood.

Q2. Who first introduced the concept of the sphygmomanometer?

Ans. Samuel Siegfried Karl Ritter von Basch discovers Sphygmomanometer. He discovered the machine in the year 1881 but Samuel Siegfried Karl Ritter von Basch simplifies the version.

Q3. What is the use of a sphygmomanometer?

Ans. Sphygmomanometer is a medical instrument which is used for measuring blood pressure. It is an essential instrument in the medical field used by nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.



Martin, S. M., Fisher, A. D., Meledeo, M. A., Wampler, D., Nicholson, S. E., Raczek, K., ... & Schauer, S. G. (2021). More sophisticated than a drink cooler or an old sphygmomanometer but still not adequate for prehospital blood: A market review of commercially available equipment for prehospital blood transport and administration. Transfusion, 61, S286-S293. Retrieved from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com

Park, S. H., & Park, Y. S. (2019). Can an automatic oscillometric device replace a mercury sphygmomanometer on blood pressure measurement? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Blood Pressure Monitoring, 24(6), 265-276. Retrieved from: https://journals.lww.com


Allheart, (2022). Process of using a sphygmomanometer. Retrieved from: https://www.allheart.com [Retrieved on 17th June 2022]

Conductscience, (2022). Types of a sphygmomanometer. Retrieved from: https://conductscience.com [Retrieved on 17th June 2022]

Medicinenet, (2022). Sphygmomanometer. Retrieved from: https://www.medicinenet.com [Retrieved on 17th June 2022]

Medlineplus, (2022). Uses of a sphygmomanometer. Retrieved from: https://medlineplus.gov [Retrieved on 17th June 2022]

Updated on: 21-Aug-2023


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