Blood Pressure Monitor Machines
24 replies to this topic
Posted 2010-11-14 21:10:33
I hate hospitals so my blood pressure readings in hospital are always higher than 'normal' - anything from 135-149 on the top number!!!. I have used a good blood pressure machine around a friends house and in a relaxed environment I am well within normal limits, ie: always below 140.
I would like to get hold of a good quality blood pressure machine that can be bought in Thailand. If someone could recommend somewhere in Pattaya that I can get one that connects to the arm rather than the wrist then I would appreciate it. I dont mind how much it costs. I have a Braun unit that fits around the wrist, but I am very suspicious of its readings as 2 friends that used it recently had readings of 85/54 and 90/55 respectively.
A blood pressure machine that gives faulty readings is worse than no machine at all, so if someone can recommend a reliable machine it would be very much appreciated. If there is not a supplier in Pattaya and you know of a supplier outside Pattaya, then that would be good as well.
Thanks in advance for your help...
Posted 2010-11-14 22:31:18
Go into a good pharmacy (Boots for one) in a shopping center, they'll have a selection you can choose from. I bought a Boots wrist monitor more than 5 years ago that worked well for about 3,000 Baht, an arm cuff one will cost a bit more.
Posted 2010-11-14 22:33:32
Pretty sure you can get what you need at Fascino on Nua.
But you seem to have a misplaced distrust in the perfectly practical and accurate cuff-type monitor. I bought one of those for similar reasons to yours; a one-time high BP reading during an industry medical. Since that was a first, I bought one so I could check if this was the start of something bad. I use it a couple of times a month and never had a high reading again.
Your friends may have a totally different lifestyles and exercise regimens hence their readings being 'better' than yours; everyone is different. Maybe you should get a regular check up as worrying if you have the best BP monitor for home use and comparing results with younger, fitter, healthier friends will only make your BP rise!
Posted 2010-11-14 23:01:49
Thanks metisdead. I have seen a couple - in Boots and that place outside Carrefour - but after those oddly low readings on my Braun I thought there may be some machines that are better than others. Certainly some machines are a couple of thousand baht and others a lot more expensive...
Posted 2010-11-14 23:04:38
White coat syndrome can be a problem Whenever I am within striking distance of a hospital my BP goes through the roof.
I bought the arm cuff one from Boots in Emporium. It agreed within 10% of the quack's machine at Samitivej, so he was willing to believe my much lower home figures compared to what he was measuring in clinic. Look for the intellisense logo on the front.
I have since brought my manual steph. and sphyg. over from the UK, but haven't compared the two yet.
Now I just have to convince him that hospital gravity is about 30% stronger than normal and I actually weigh 70kg...
Edited by phaethon, 2010-11-14 23:27:13.
Posted 2010-11-14 23:09:25
Thanks for the feedback Nanlaew. I get very nervous in hospitals and the reading is always a bit higher - the reading on my BPM was ridiculously low for my 2 friends. A very healthy reading is 120/80, so the readings my friends got were well below that...
Its the check up that is the problem. I start getting stressed as I reach the hospital reception, by the time they strap on the cuff I am nearly hyper ventilating. Yes I know its irrational, but some people dont like spiders, others dont like snakes, heights etc... my phobia is hospitals, doctors offices etc..
I guess what you are saying is that any BPM is OK for home use. Fair enough. What I dont understand though is WHY is there such a difference in price??? 1500 baht to 15000 baht.
edit: where is Fascino???
Edited by dsfbrit, 2010-11-14 23:11:42.
Posted 2010-11-14 23:25:29
Yes- white coat syndrome sure is a problem. I will google the intellisense logo, I guess this is a standard to show the monitor is accurate. The last check up I had had a reading of 139/?
It was not too bad anyway for a male of 56 years of age. The trouble is they treated me as if I was about to have a heart attack. I told them I was very nervous, but they acted like they had never heard of 'white coat' syndrome. This was at Bumgrungrand, a decent hospital. The Thai nurses who did the pressure test were absolutely horrified at the reading. This was only a test before I went to see the doctor about a hip problem, so I was a bit put off by it all I must say. They sat with me for about 5 minutes trying to persuade me to get something done about it. When I said what do want me to do and 139/? is not bad, they did not really know what to say. Odd. Anyway I decided to first of all check out my reading myself and if its high after in a stress free environment as well, then, I will go and get it all checked out properly.
Its why I want to make sure I get a good monitor. If the reading is poor then I will embark on some extensive tests and get it sorted out. I can then use the monitor long term as well.
DO you understand why some of the BPMs are so expensive - are the readings more accurate or just have other features?
You can borrow my scales if you wish - they are very 'user friendly'
edit: just saw the picture - I will have a read about that BPM thanks
Edited by dsfbrit, 2010-11-14 23:45:06.
Posted 2010-11-14 23:27:32
I thought it was just me. Any time I go to hospital my BP is always a little high, they check it again 10 mins later when my white coat fear has subsided somewhat and it's normal.
Posted 2010-11-14 23:35:13
Dont worry Judas, its not just you, there are lots of us out there. The trouble is my heart is racing a bit just thinking about hospitals and typing this reply - I am pretty pathetic!!
What I dont understand is why the Thai nurses seem to react so worried about a reading that in the UK my doctor said is fine - that was 10 years ago. So for me to have a reading the same 10 years on does not seem to be that unreasonable. I am about my correct weight, dont smoke, stopped drinking 7 years ago and exercise a lot, so if there is a problem I wont be able to change my lifestyle much thats for sure...
Curiously I dont mind the dentist, and ask for more injections to ensure there is no pain. I even relax to the sound of the dentists drill - I am very odd indeed!!!
Edited by dsfbrit, 2010-11-14 23:43:03.
Posted 2010-11-15 00:05:26
Intellisense is a system used by Omron, a major BP monitor company. The Boots devices are re-branded Omrons. I've seen branded Omrons in the sports section of Central stores. The price may reflect additional features such as memory (last 10 measurements etc.) ans shininess, but so long as it produces two numbers and is solidly built... Why are crApples twice the price and half as reliable as real computers?
It is pretty much impossible to bring your blood pressure down on demand - the more you think about it the higher it goes.Deep breathing exercises may help relax you, but it's hugely variable from minute to minute. The best you can do is ignore individual measurements and monitor your BP regularly during a long period of exercise and dietary improvements, measuring under the same circumstances and with the same equipment and look for a downward trend:
DSFBrit: welcome to the world of private medicine - slightly high BP = lots of regular checkups + lifelong drugs = revenue $$ka-ching$$
Posted 2010-11-15 07:35:07
phaethon, thanks for the info.
Yes I think you are right about the charges. In the UK the doctor would be keen to keep me out of the NHS to save money (fair enough) and over here they would be keen to give me further check-ups to make money (fair enough?).
I will go and choose a nice new BPM this week...and better understand the meanings of the readings so I can argue with the nurses about their recommendations - now that should push my blood pressure up nicely
Edited by dsfbrit, 2010-11-15 07:36:47.
Posted 2011-02-27 00:43:56
I own two OMRON blood pressure monitors at home (one from the US and one bought in Thailand). Both of them generate different readings even though when you try them at the same time (left and right arm). I also have the traditional one which I find it super hard to use. Not really sure how to get the right reading from these devices.
Posted 2011-02-27 01:26:36
Different readings between right and left is not abnormal actually. Remember my doctor talking about that with me when he was explaining the readings.
blood pressure monitoring.org
Posted 2011-02-27 12:48:03
The "old style" mercury BP machines are still the most accurate but then you need to know about Korotkoff sounds to interpret properly with a stethoscope.
The newer style monitors that work with air pressure is less accurate but that's all a bit relative. BP readings differ from minute to minute within a relatively narrow range; say about 10-15% or so at rest. (Pressures of 170/110 in a person with normal pressures during exercise is also still normal at the time). Human physiology is simply not comparable to a mechanical system...
Stay away from the wrist models as they are inaccurate. The radial artery is simply too small to measure BP accurately unless you insert an arterial line and measure pressure directly as is done in certain ICU situations. Again rule of thumb but buy the best you can afford. Omron makes a wide range of medical devices and is generally considered in the industry to be reliable machines.
Home monitoring is an excellent way of keeping an eye on your BP; avoiding the white coat issues and cost, obviously. Few caveats though. Compare readings in the same position, taken on the same arm. Supine pressure is higher than standing. Up to 30% of the blood in circulation can be in the lower extremities when standing; this gets into the general circulation when supine so BP rises. Left arm pressures usually higher than right due to the anatomy of the arterial system.
Finally, BP fluctuations that vary from 140+ systolic to 90+ diastolic to normal readings of about 120/80 may indicate a trend that may lead to a higher pressure over time so this is the best time to implement the non-medical interventions such as diet, exercise etc. Genetics play a role as well but may manifest after middle to older age.
Posted 2011-02-28 13:38:19
If you haven't yet purchased a monitor then I recommend the Omron SEM-1 model. If you're not looking for any "bells & whistles" then this is a good home unit. I purchased one a couple of weeks ago at the medical supply shop in Bumrugrad hospital for B 2350, and as they were having a "promotion" got a free adapter and digital pedometer.
Posted 2011-02-28 13:57:02
I've used an Omron M4 for years. No trouble with the unit, only my readings at times.
The model is probably outdated by now, but the brand is good.
Posted 2011-02-28 20:43:05
I have an Omron IA2. Took it to my doctors office and compared it with his "traditional" reading and it was spot on. This is the type with a cuff for your upper arm. Before this I had one of the wrist types, it would give wildly varying measurements from time to time.
Posted 2011-03-01 08:38:08
I would recommend an Omron with 'IntelliSense'. (see photo posted by earlier member).
The reason is because the 'IntelliSense' detects the position of the monitor in relation to the heart so that measurements will only be made in the correct relative position. So readings will be much more reproducable.
I don't know if other manufacturers have a similar system, but I have been using Omron for a number of years. There used to be an Omron service centre on Surawong road (about halfway down) where you could have your instrument re-calibrated, but not sure if it is there anymore, and I can't remember the address.
Posted 2011-03-01 15:40:38
Here is the Omron rep that does the repair work on all of their blood pressure monitors:
Jack Chia Industries (Thailand)
297/7-8 Thanon Si Phrya
Tel: 02 236-0036
They also have a website, but it's mostly in Thai: www.jackchia.co.th
Posted 2011-03-01 18:22:39
After untoward experiences with the hospital 'toys' I get the doctor to use a sphygmomanometer ( the old tried and trusted listening to blood flow) if he/she needs to know my blood pressure. The new fangled toys that hospitals want to use (image?) need to be calibrated regularly - and my guess is that they are not. On one occasion when a nurse was insistent that she measure my blood pressure I in turn insisted on the old tried and tested method. It was as I prophesied 130/90 and then I allowed her to use 'the new technology. I then asked what the machine said and she answered 200! Don't bother with the other reading I told her.
All too often blood pressure is taken as soon as you arrive at the hospital. For a true reading sitting at rest for ten minutes before the measurement is taken is a good idea. From what I have gathered the normal blood pressure of Thai people (all Asians? ) is lower than that of farangs. Could it be that our body mass is greater and therefore greater pressure is needed to move the blood around our bodies?
Posted 2011-05-19 16:22:20
I had numbness in my arms and legs occasionally for like 30 seconds. and couple other weird things. went to get physical before applying for better health insurance. i am 45 y.o. male in good condition - exercise regularly, etc. BP was 180/ ? and i freaked out. the doctor reviewed the results and said, awwwww dont eat a lot of salt and you will be fine. no prob. the next day i had an ischemic in my spine around 6 pm and was in hospital for 2.5 months paralyzed from waist down. now i have some permanent disability but can work, etc. and it is not obvious disability.
go get BP checked and take it seriously. you can have a blood clot in an artery to kidney and be losing a kidney with little or no symptoms. i always had annual physical, then missed a year and my insurance carrier canceled thailand and the new one was 2x the premium so i waited..... too long.
Posted 2011-05-19 16:23:56
forgot to add that I use Omron and am now looking for a service center to get it calibrated to ensure its readings are accurate.
Posted 2011-05-19 16:30:17
See my earlier post above, #20, for the Omron service center info.
Posted 2011-05-20 17:24:58
Why not just bring it to your local physician and verify it against his reading? That's what I did with mine. (Thought it was pretty consistent with his readings I could see he didn't like it - I guess he saw it as competition)