Blood pressure readings lower when patients slow down

Not only is this another item for my 'Studies in Stupidity' series, it gives me an opportunity to relate a relevant tale from my past ... which in turn defines why "military intelligence" is often considered an oxymoron.

Everyone entering the military must undergo an induction physical exam. This is where they discover physically disqualifying factors, like boils on your butt or high blood pressure.

When we arrived they herded us into a locker room where we stripped to our skivvies. They took our medical history, looked for flat feet and obvious problems, and then came to the eye test, followed by a hernia exam (never pleasant for a young man) and a hearing test. After this they marched us into a large room and told us to form rows.

Once we were aligned in ranks, the doctor at the front of the room ordered us to drop our drawers, bend over and grab our ankles. The last thing we saw on the way down was an orderly handing the doctor a box of latex gloves ...

Following this, they took our blood pressure. Mine was so off the chart that I had to come back the next day and retake the blood pressure check. In fact, it turns out that almost 75% of us had high blood pressure on the first pass. And the rest were only marginally in range.

It's a wonder they ever met their quotas, draft or not. Timing is everything.

According to a new study from a team of nurses headed by Melly Turner, R.N., systolic blood pressure can be an average of 14 points higher when taken immediately after arriving in the exam room and sitting on an examination table rather than sitting in a chair with your back supported and feet flat on the floor.

(link) [EurekAlert!]

23:00 /Humor | 1 comment | permanent link