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How to Measure Blood Pressure Without Equipment

By Kendra Dahlstrom ; Updated July 27, 2017

While it is impossible to measure accurate blood pressure without any type of equipment, you can make a good systolic measurement guess. To measure the diastolic rate, however, you must use an arm cuff and a stethoscope. Neither measurement requires the use of high tech electronic equipment or a medical degree. Using this article, you will learn how to measure blood pressure with little to no equipment.

Run the first 2 fingers of your hand along the opposite hand's wrist. With the palm facing upward, the radial pulse is below the thumb and slightly above the wrist. Find this place with your fingers.

Move your fingers around until you feel the pulse; on most people you will be able to feel it. This is when the crude blood pressure measurement without equipment comes into play. The fact that you can feel a radial pulse at all means the systolic measurement is at least 80. The more prominent the pulse, the higher the systolic measurement. If the pulse is faint, that means it is closer to 80.

Grab a blood pressure cuff if you must know a more accurate systolic reading or if you need to know the diabolic blood pressure measurement. Wrap the cuff around the brachial artery which runs along the inside of the arm, most notably inside the elbow.

Place a stethoscope over the brachial artery and inflate the arm cuff until you can no longer hear a pulse. Then slowly, at 2 mm hg per second, let the air out of the cuff. Pay attention to the number on the dial when you begin hearing a pulse once again. This is the systolic reading.

Keep letting the air out until you no longer hear any pulse from the brachial artery. This is the diastolic reading. On children it will simply sound muffled.


The average healthy adult has a blood pressure reading of 120/80. Pregnant women, however, tend to have higher blood pressure.


High blood pressure is a serious indicator of other health related problems. Never ignore this condition.

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