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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Omron Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

If you or a family member has hypertension, it is important to check your blood pressure regularly. Even if it is under control with medication, things can change and your medication may need to be adjusted. High blood pressure is not called the "silent killer" for nothing. What you do not know can hurt you and even kill you. In 2006 we bought an Reli-On/Omron Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor, and it has worked well since.

The monitor we purchased in 2006 was the Relion HEM780-REL. It is comparable to the Omron BP742. I do not recommend buying it online because it is far too expensive. This is probably due to the scarcity of the product since it may no longer be manufactured. In fact, it is priced $100 higher than the most sophisticated Omron monitor at Amazon at the time of this review post.

Omron monitors are very simple to operate. You only need to wrap the cuff around your arm and place the sensor in the proper position. After that, you tighten the velcro connection to your arm. Push the button and the machine does all the rest. You receive upper and lower readings along with your pulse rate.

The machine stores your information and also dates it, so make sure to set the clock when you first get the machine. You receive an AC adapter with your monitor (models 760 Series and higher) and it holds four AA size batteries.

I recommend the BP760 model because of the convenience. If you buy a model BP170 or BP742 you will not receive an AC power adapter. However, the models BP742, BP785, and BP791IT have a "two user mode" function. This is great for two people in the same household that wish to track their blood pressure readings.

If you choose to buy the BP742 you can purchase a separate AC power supply for about $10 at Amazon. This makes it about the same price as the BP760, and you will have the two user mode that the 760 does not have. It is all a matter of preference. However, the 760 and above have 5 year warranties and the 742 and 170 have only two year warranties.

When you want to spend a little more (about $15 more than the 760) you can receive a high tech BP785 with some amazing features. First, it has two bp sensors for better accuracy. It also comes with a "TrueRead" feature. This automatically takes three bp readings one minute apart and gives you the average. That is excellent for people that want the most accurate blood pressure readings. The 785 also has more memory storage capability than the lower priced models.

All Omron blood pressure machines come with a system that lets you know if your blood pressure is excessive. They also warn if your heartbeat is irregular.

The Model we have had since 2006 has worked great but we did have to buy a replacement cuff as the Velcro finally wore out. These cuffs can easily be purchased online. Make sure to choose a cuff that fits your particular model as they are not all the same.

Remember to not check your bp when you are upset or just after exercise. This can give you an unusually high reading. Also, wait at least 30 minutes after eating, as some people experience a rise in blood pressure right after meals.

When you are thinking about monitoring your blood pressure, make it easy on yourself and buy an automatic machine that does all the work for you. This will give you accurate and trouble free readings. If you want a good unit at a reasonable price, choose the BP742 and buy the power adapter to save on batteries. For the most complete bp monitoring, go for the model BP785. If you need something that is compatible with Microsoft Health Vault, you can spend a little more for the model BP791IT.

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