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Nursing Skills Laboratory Procedure


Assessing Popliteal Blood Pressure With an Aneroid Sphygmomanometer

Achievement of SATISFACTORY in all categories is necessary

Student's Name: ____________________

Grade (circle one):

P = achieved 3 or above in all categories

F = achieved 2 or below in one or more categories

The following scale is utilized:

1 = Failing 2 = Unsatisfactory 3 = Satisfactory 4 = Good 5 = Superior

ACTION
S
G SA G
F
  • Gather the supplies
5 4 3 2 1
  • Explain the procedure to the patient
5 4 3 2 1
  • Wash and dry hands carefully
5 4 3 2 1
  • Assist the patient in assuming a prone position to provide easy access to one of his/her thighs
5 4 3 2 1
  • Position one of the patient's legs alongside his/her body, with his/her leg xtended at the knee
5 4 3 2 1
  • Fully expose the patient's upper thigh
5 4 3 2 1
  • Measure the bladder of the cuff to assure that: 1) the width of the bladder is 20% wider than the diameter of the patient's upper thigh at its midpoint, and 2) the length of the bladder is long enough to almost encircle, and cover at least two-thirds of the circumference of, the patient's upper thigh
5 4 3 2 1
  • Center the bladder of the cuff over the middle aspect of the patient's upper thigh
5 4 3 2 1
  • Position the lower border of the cuff 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) above the patient's popliteal space
5 4 3 2 1
  • Wrap the cuff around the patient's upper thigh smoothly and snugly, so that not more than two of your fingers can fit under the cuff
5 4 3 2 1
  • Position the aneroid gauge so that you can visualize it easily
5 4 3 2 1
  • Place the pads of the fingertips of both your hand behind the patient's knee so that they just meet in the middle of the politeal space behind his/her knee
5 4 3 2 1
  • Press the pads of the fingertips of both your hands behind the patient's knee so that they just meet in the middle of the politeal space behind his/her knee
5 4 3 2 1
  • Close the valve on the cuff pump with the other hand by turning the knob clockwise
5 4 3 2 1
  • Pump the cuff up with this hand until you can no longer palpate the patient's popliteal pulse
5 4 3 2 1
  • Open the valve of the cuff pump with this hand by turning the knob clockwise
5 4 3 2 1
  • Slowly deflate the cuff with this hand by decreasing the pressure at a rate of 2 - 3 mm Hg per second
5 4 3 2 1
  • Note the pressure on the aneroid gauge at which you could no longer palpate the patient's popliteal pulse
5 4 3 2 1
  • Deflate the cuff rapidly and completely
5 4 3 2 1
  • Wait 1 - 2 minutes before making a further blood pressure measurement
5 4 3 2 1
  • Insert the ear attachments of the stethoscope into your ears to that they tilt slightly forward
5 4 3 2 1
  • Position the stethoscope so that the binaurals and tubing hang freely, and the binaurals, tubing, and chest piece do not touch the patient's clothing or the cuff
5 4 3 2 1
  • Place the pads of the fingertips of both your hands behind the patient's knee so that they just meet in the middle of the politeal space behind his/her knee
5 4 3 2 1
  • Press the pads of the fingertips of both your hand behind the patient's knee so that they just meet in the middle of the politeal space behind his/her knee
5 4 3 2 1
  • Remove the pads of the fingertips of both your hands from behind the patient's knee and place the diaphragm of the stethoscope over the location where you palpated the patient's popliteal pulse
5 4 3 2 1
  • Hold the diaphragm of the stethoscope in place over the location where you palpated the patient's popliteal pulse with the thumb and index finger of one hand
5 4 3 2 1
  • Close the valve on the cuff pump by turning the knob clockwise with your other hand
5 4 3 2 1
  • Pump the cuff up until it registers 30 mm Hg above the point where you could no longer palpate the patient's popliteal pulse with this hand
5 4 3 2 1
  • Open the valve on the cuff pump by turning the knob counterclockwise with this hand
5 4 3 2 1
  • Slowly deflate the cuff by decreasing the pressure at the rate of 2 -3 mm Hg per second with this hand
5 4 3 2 1
  • Continue deflating the cuff at a rate of 2 -3 mm Hg per second with this hand, noting the point on the aneroid gauge when the first faint, but clear sound that increases in intensity is heard
5 4 3 2 1
  • Continue deflating the cuff at a rate of 2 -3 mm Hg per second with this hand, noting the point on the aneroid gauge when the first muffled or dampened sound is heard
5 4 3 2 1
  • Continue deflating the cuff at a rate of 2 -3 mm Hg per second with this hand, noting the point on the aneroid gauge when the last sound is heard
5 4 3 2 1
  • Deflate the cuff rapidly and completely
5 4 3 2 1
  • Remove the earpieces of the stethoscope from your ears and hang them and the binaurals around your neck
5 4 3 2 1
  • Remove the cuff from around the patient's upper thigh
5 4 3 2 1
  • If this is the first assessment of the patient, repeat the blood pressure measurement on his/her other upper thigh
5 4 3 2 1
  • Wash and dry hands carefully
5 4 3 2 1
  • Record the patient's popliteal blood pressure per agency policy
5 4 3 2 1
Comments:

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This page was last modified on 6/1/01