Are Medical Professionals Fallible?

Posted , 3 users are following.

Five days after starting on Amlopidine (5mg) my yesterday and today it appeared as if my blood pressure had risen Ranging from 176-106 to 165-95. Consequently, being a little worried I rang 111. After answering a range of questions and waiting whilst the person at the other end of the phone went to consult with a clinician they eventually came to the conclusion that I should go to see my GP.(Normal wait 3-4 weeks).  Anyway I managed to get a nurse to measure my blood pressure (the proper way) and to my surprise it came out reasonable at 138-85. I concluded my machine must be in error and almost went to buy a new one.  Went home and measured again with same machine came out at 165-something? Did a control test on the wife and this measured within the normal range.

Any good explanations out there?

0 likes, 8 replies

8 Replies

  • Posted

    Are medical professional fallible?  OMG, ... the question is rather do they ever get anything completely right, and the answer may well be "No!" because medicine is complicated.

    I may be with you on this, and have an inverse-white-coat-syndrome, I often get lower BP readings from professionals than I get at home!  But I've brought in my meter, and my meter agrees with the pros, more or less.  Oh btw, if a nurse gets one reading and the doctor gets another - go with the nurse!  And, if the "medical professional" takes your BP with a bulb and stethoscope, do not believe it, they have a HUGE bias towards normality.

    So where does that leave you?  Well.  Are you following the proper protocol at home?  Wearing the cuff correctly?  Rest quietly for fifteen minutes before taking it?  And longer, if following vigorous work or exercise?  And half an hour after eating?  With your arm at rest on a table, bent at the elbow?  Relaxing, not fighting the cuff?

  • Posted

    ps- if they only med you're taking is 5mg of amlodipine, don't look for any dramatic improvements.  In fact, be sure to check out the forum here on amlodipine, while many people use it effectively, many others do not.  In the US standard policy is to give patients several BP meds at once, from different classes, even for initial, minor cases.  Apparently in the UK this is not the same standard of practice.

    What was your BP in the first place, that got you involved with this all?

    • Posted

      I went to the hospital for an unrelated procedure that caused much anxiety. A routine BP test peaked at over 200 -something which of course then gave me something else to worry about.  A couple of weeks of self testing averaged out at around 155-90. I'm very talented at worrying!

    • Posted

      Well yes, anxiety will raise your BP.  I'll bet they see that a lot in hospital.  A home average of 155/90 isn't good, but at least it's not 200!

      You think it was OK before this procedure, or maybe you've been walking around with it for some time?

      For me, the treatment that helped the most turned out to be the diuretic. Old-fashioned, but it does the job almost alone, and none of the others comes close.

    • Posted

      jx41870...Here in Canada we do not give several bp medications at once from different classes. We try one..if that doesn't work, the dosage may be increased, or the medication REPLACED with something else. Why give a person a load of medication when one very well might do the trick. I can tell you one thing...if my doctor were to give me a load of medicine all at once, rather than trying just one to see if that works...i'd be hunting for another doctor. Only in America they say...what a pity.

  • Posted

    kev90226...Blood pressure fluctuates from minute to minute. It can be 130/80, then if you take it 1/2 hr later, it can be 140/82..etc.etc. This is normal. 

    You did say you got a nurse to take your bp "the proper way". Which way was that??? Feet flat on the floor..back firmly supported., arm resting on the table palms up?..THAT is the proper way. Some professionals believe it or not will talk to the patient while taking the reading & this shouldn't be done. When you take bp readings, don't do it when feeling anxious, ill or upset in any way.Relax a few minutes. Take 3 consective readings. Actually, take 1 reading & throw that reading away. Likely as isn't accurate. Then wait about 3 min & take 3 consecutive readings. Average them out. That's your reading. Also, your machine may not be accurate. 

    Why would you measure your wife's???? It's YOU whose readings you're concerned about. If your wife has a normal reading, that doesn't mean yours is off. Keep in mind you were at the nurse' went home...& took readings. In the back of your mind, all of this was at the forefront. 

    If you truly believe your machine is off...perhaps buying a new one is in order. Get something reputable. Don't buy a wrist or thumb monitor.They're notorious for being inaccurate. If you pm me, I can recommend a very reputable product for you.

    • Posted

      Hi Mike, 

      By the proper way I was referring to the stethoscope and hand pump method, However, I expect there is still human error and the possibility that the mechanical gauge is faulty,  I took the wife's BP because I knew hers was normal my reasoning being that if it was my machine it would be proportionally wrong.  

    • Posted

      kev90226...My Dr. uses the wrap, with a pump & of course it has a gauge on it. You can be assured that Dr's make sure their equipment is accurate. BP fluctuates a lot, which is normal. You can take your bp & get a reading of 120/80, then just a few minutes later, it can be say 130/82. 

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