Intended for healthcare professionals


In praise of mercury sphygmomanometers

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 16 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1534
  1. E G Lawes, consultant anaesthetist (
  1. Critical Care, Southampton University Hospitals Trust, SO16 6YO

    EDITOR—O'Brien writes about replacing the mercury sphygmomanometer with other blood pressure measuring devices.1 Far from agreeing with him, I would prefer to have all electronic devices banned from the general surgical wards of our hospitals.

    Non-invasive pressure devices are designed for the management of hypertension. The emphasis is on the mean blood pressure and diastolic pressures at the upper end of normal. These devices are useless for patients in whom an indication of cardiac output is important. The relation between …

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