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At Plume, we ask patients to provide a recent blood pressure reading to ensure it is safe to prescribe medication. During your initial Plume appointment, we like to have a blood pressure recorded in the last month. Your provider may also ask for an updated blood pressure reading periodically. This can usually be done at a local pharmacy with their free blood pressure machine. You may also use an at-home blood pressure machine or borrow one from a friend or family member. Learn more about monitoring your blood pressure at home here. A recent blood pressure reading from a recent health visit with another provider is also acceptable.
How to understand blood pressure readings
Your blood pressure reading consists of two numbers. The first (top) number, systolic blood pressure, indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats. The second (bottom) number, diastolic blood pressure, indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
Before measuring your blood pressure
Before measuring your blood pressure, it is important to follow a few steps to ensure an accurate reading:
No smoking, caffeine, or exercise for the 30 minutes before checking
Empty your bladder
- Sit quietly for at least 5 minutes.
During the reading
During the reading it is important to follow a few steps to ensure an accurate recording:
Upper arm supported (ie, on a table), resting at about chest height
Cuff against bare skin (don’t measure over your clothes)
Back is supported and you are sitting comfortably
Feet flat on floor with legs uncrossed
If you’re taking your blood pressure yourself, make sure to follow the instructions on the monitor, as they can vary. If you have questions, you can ask your Plume care team before your visit!
Once you have measured your blood pressure, let your care team know the reading along with the date you measured it. You can do this by writing out the reading itself (systolic number/diastolic number) or by sending a picture of the results in the Spruce chat.