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October 13, 1951


JAMA. 1951;147(7):666. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670240050010

Authorities recognize that very precise determinations of human arterial pressures are difficult to achieve by use of sphygmomanometers. Obviously, any basic imperfection of sphygmomanometry should not be supplemented by unnecessary errors arising from use of faulty apparatus and technique. Practicing physicians, insurance examiners, and others concerned with physical examinations will therefore wish to peruse with care suggestions for determining human blood pressure recently recommended by the American Heart Association and published elsewhere in this issue of The Journal.

Measurement of human blood pressure is such a new procedure in medical practice that the older members of the profession probably can recall its advent. Janeway's monograph,1 published in 1904, gave a great impetus to its clinical use. Korotkoff's suggestion2 in 1905 of the auscultatory criteria and Erlanger's experimental studies3 in 1916-1918 were largely responsible for the displacement of other criteria for determining systolic and diastolic pressures. Since consistency

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