Archive for March 12th, 2008

There was a piece yesterday on the news about home testing kits, cholesterol, diabetes etc, and how their regulation needs to be improved as they may not be useful in diagnosing disease. I have a problem with home blood pressure machines, not just machines used at home actually, those used in some surgeries and hospitals as well. I am not talking here about monitors people may use for assessing their B/P out of interest but I am discussing their use with pregnant women. Accurate recording of B/P is routine in antenatal care and therefore should be recorded accurately however, I have seen many professionals using machines which are not on the validated monitors list for use in pregnancy. Is this a problem? Well I believe so as decisions about care may be affected by the results of the machine. The culprits here are not only midwives, who have supplied their own equipment as their employer provided one is broken and has not been replaced, but also maternity/ obstetric units and G.P’s surgeries, they will use any machine that comes to hand, validated or not. One G.P I spoke to about this, due to him constantly referring women in to the hospital with raised B/P,  was not aware that the estimation of diastolic pressure was auscultated differently in pregnancy. Then there is the problem of pregnant women, or their relatives who, aware of pregnancy induced hypertension, will buy or borrow a machine to check their own blood pressures and will then go into a panic when the reading is different to the ones recorded in their notes. There is an interesting paper here from the European Society of Hypertension concening recommendations for blood pressure estimation, not just in pregnant women but throughout the population and they place particular emphasis on the use of validated machines. Perhaps this enquiry into the use of home testing equipment should include blood pressure devices. So, pregnant or not, if you are considering purchasing a machine to monitor your blood pressure please take a look here to see if your machine is actually worth spending your hard earned on and remember that one size does not necessarily fit all, the size of your arm relevant to the cuff is important as well.

‘Why was Scarlett left by herself in the first place?’ the Daily Mail and the Goan police ask. I have to agree with them. That poor girl, that misguided, neglectful Mother.

Stuart Robbins. I ‘ll just repeat that name, Stuart Robbins, yes Stuart Robbins from Birkenhead. What a lucky man he is, skinfull of alcohol, two and a half times over the limit, knocks a 10 year old girl off her bike but has walked free from court. It is an absolute disgrace that someone who has broken the law by drink driving, seriously injures someone and initially leaves the scene of the accident is then punished less rigourously than a protestor against council tax. Says something about our society.

As I said, thing are wrong.

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