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Blood Pressure and Pulse Determination

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    The purpose of the paper is to inform and conduct a laboratory report on human blood pressure and pulse determination. Systolic (contraction) and diastolic (relaxation) pressures refer to the ventricular contraction and relaxation. With knowing the two pressures, one can distinguish if he/she is at a normal or abnormal state. It is also important to know the cardiac cycle which is one full heartbeat. The cardiac cycle usually happens when the atria and ventricles contract and relax. While conducting the report, we asked the individual to do numerous of things to see how it affected the pulse and blood pressure. Some of the activities included: posture, exercise, and a noxious sensory stimulus (cold). After each specified activity, the individual had their blood pressure and pulse taken. The lab report will also include a brief report on pulse determination/pressure. It will include definition and the equipment used to determine pulse rate.


    Human blood pressure is vital to one life because it can help distinguish abnormalities. Blood pressure consists of two pressures, the diastolic and systolic pressure. The diastolic pressure refers to the resting or the point where ventricles can relax. Systolic pressure refers to the contraction period. Diastolic pressure is normally the lower numeric number and systolic relatively is the higher numeric number. When an individual has their blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer, both numbers will appear on a medical report, an example would be 120/75 mmHg (mmHg is the millimeters of mercury). When using the sphygmomanometer, the examiner will determine the blood pressure by the sounds of Korotkoff. These sounds will then indicate the resumption of blood flow into the forearm (Mitchell, 2009). Usually, blood pressure is steady throughout the day. But to be precise, it is lowest when asleep and increases when awake. It also can rise when you are anxious, excited, nervous, or active. With pulse pressure, it is the difference between diastolic and systolic pressures. It also represents the force that your heart generates each time it contracts. In a person with a systolic blood pressure of 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 80 mmHg, so the difference or the pulse pressure would be 40 mmHg. Pulse pressure is not as important as systolic and diastolic pressure because it is not a reliable source (Mitchell, 2009). I believe that blood pressure does have an impact but over a long period of time, my lab report has intervals of 3-5 minutes. Materials and methods

    The materials we used were a sphygmomanometer, stethoscope, lab manual, alcohol swabs and four participants. In activity five of the lab manual, we used the sphygmomanometer to measure. We had participant sit down where she may be comfortable and then inflated the cuff to 160 mmHg pressure; releasing the pressure valve slowly. In activity seven, we observed the effect of various factors on blood pressure and heart rate.

    Part of activity seven was to take the participants blood pressure and pulse while they were sitting comfortably, reclining after 2/3 minutes, immediately on standing from the reclining position, and after standing for three minutes. We found that that the participant did not have a drastic change in values. I think this is because the blood pressure is not always steady at one number and does alter from one position to the other. Our participant has a normal blood pressure because their systolic pressure is under 120 and their diastolic pressure is near 80. In the exercise activity, we had one participant, who was well conditioned step for one minute. Immediately after the one minute their blood pressure and pulse would be recorded. With one minute intervals, it was noticeable that the participant was rather healthy because she did not have a drastic change in blood pressure. There were some slight changes but only because she went from her normal baseline to becoming active. Unfortunately, we did not have an individual who is poorly conditioned; therefore I believe our exercise activity is not as efficient as it should be.

    Another activity we were able to do was the cold pressor test which will help us learn if blood pressure is affected by emotion and pain. Our participant did not put their hand in water, but rather went outside in cold weather. Her baseline was normal, but it is visible that she did suffer a little during the third interval by a whole 10+ mmHg.


    During our lab report my hypothesis was that blood pressure will not be affected during a course of 3-5 minutes. However, this lab proved me wrong. There may not be a significant increase in blood pressure but comparing it to the baseline, it does show some result that blood pressure is easily influenced by daily activities. Blood pressure and the pulse pressure are important aspects to know when studying the cardiac cycle because it helps one understand how blood pressure works and why it works the way it does. Pulse pressure is valuable to know, but does not necessarily give you the blood pressure. Pulse pressure is the difference between diastolic and systolic pressures. The normal pulse pressure is 40, but it is not very reliable when your blood pressure is 140/100. A few things I learned outside of lab include norm and abnormal blood pressure. A blood pressure of 140/80 or higher is considered high blood pressure. Both numbers are important. If one or both numbers are abnormally high, than the result is high blood pressure. High blood pressure is abnormal to the body and is extremely dangerous to an individual’s life because it can result in cardiac arrest. There are medication to prevent or reduce blood pressure but the best way to keep a normal blood pressure is maintain a healthy diet and to exercise.


    Blood pressure is extremely important to know and record. Each individual should understand the basic knowledge of how blood pressure works and what the systolic and diastolic numbers mean. The normal blood pressure for adults should be 120/80, anything over 140/80 is abnormal and is considered high blood pressure. I find these reports very useful to who may review it because it gives a thorough knowledge of blood and pulse pressure.


    1. Marieb, Elaine N. Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology. [S.l.]: Pearson
    2. Education. Print. Susan J. Mitchell, and Marieb, Elaine Nicpon. Human Anatomy & Physiology Lab Manual:
    3. AHS2091 Human Anatomy : AHS 2111 Human Physiology Life Science. Menlo Park, CA:
    4. Addison Wesley Longman, 2009. Print.

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