Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
Not accurate enough to make health decisions regarding your blood pressure.
The free blood pressure machines in many grocery stores, drugstores and other locations may have been accurate when first installed. But to stay accurate, they must be maintained and recalibrated. Generally, no information is available regarding the care of these devices. As a result, the reading you get has limited value because it may be incorrect.
In addition, the blood pressure cuffs on these do-it-yourself machines are often too small to get an accurate reading on some people with high blood pressure. To ensure accuracy, the inflatable portion of the cuff should cover at least 80 percent of the upper arm.
It's best to have your blood pressure checked in a medical facility or in a community screening program with trained staff. Before diagnosing or treating high blood pressure, you'll need to have your blood pressure measured in your doctor's office on several separate visits.
If you need to check your blood pressure more frequently, your doctor can instruct you on the best way to monitor your blood pressure at home. Home blood pressure monitoring can be an inexpensive, accurate way to get regular blood pressure readings.
Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Proceeds from website advertising help support our mission. Mayo Clinic does not endorse non-Mayo products and services.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.