How to Troubleshoot a Blood Pressure Monitor

By Deb Katula

For the optimal performance of your blood pressure monitor, learn how to maintain it properly. Understanding error codes and regular maintenance needs will help you to get the most accurate readings.

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For the optimal performance of your blood pressure monitor, learn how to maintain it properly. Understanding error codes and regular maintenance needs will help you to get the most accurate readings.

Check your owners manual for your specific blood pressure model. If the trouble shooting guidelines are not in your manual, find the name of the monitor manufacturer and the model number.

Find the name of your blood pressure model in the Reference section in link 1. There are many different models and types of monitors. If your model is unique or specialized then this may be your best way to find troubleshooting information.

Get an error message reading AIR LEAK? Make sure the cuff is well secured on your arm. If the cuff is too loose, this error message will appear.

Determine if the hose is attached securely to the cuff. Tighten if necessary.

Listen for air leaks. Any air leaks may indicate that it is time to replace the cuff portion of your blood pressure monitor.

Receive a low error message? This can indicate that the hose is kinked and needs to be straightened. If this does not resolve the problem, change the cuff and take another reading.

Obtain a calibration kit appropriate for your model of blood pressure monitor.

Perform a calibration check at least once a year to make sure you are receiving accurate readings. Instructions for calibration tests will be found in the calibration kit.

Perform a pneumatic check every six months or when your unit is malfunctioning. This test will check for air leaks in your blood pressure monitor. Directions for this test will also be included with your calibration kit.

Tip

To see if your blood pressure monitor is working correctly, take it in to your doctor's office during a visit. Take your blood pressure with your cuff and then have it taken by a nurse with the doctor's equipment. Compare the readings for accuracy.

Warning

Do not hesitate to contact the manufacturer directly with your concerns and questions. If a unit is not working appropriately, you may be able to receive a discount directly from the manufacturer for faulty equipment.

References

About the Author

Deb Katula has written and researched for Societe Generale, FIMAT, Nikko Securities, Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Arthur Anderson. She holds an MBA in economics and finance from the University of Chicago; a Japanese language fellowship from Harvard; and a Bachelor of Arts in business/psychology/Asian studies from Augustana College.

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