NIBP Cuff Selection & Placement

Choose a cuff whose width is 40%-50% of limb circumference of the limb to which you will attach it, and round up to the next sized cuff if in between. The inflatable part of the cuff (bladder) should be long enough to encircle 50%-80% of limb.

The cuff should not be placed too loose or too tight. If it is too tight, the cuff itself will occlude venous return, rather than the inflation of the cuff and it will result in a false low reading. A cuff that is too loose will give a false high reading or it will come apart at the Velcro as it is inflated.

   *Do not secure the cuff with tape as this will restrict airflow to the cuff’s bladder and cause inaccurate readings.
   *Do not place the cuff on a compromised limb or a limb with an arterial catheter, an IV catheter or a pulse ox sensor.

Place the bladder of the cuff directly over the artery, lining up the tubing of the cuff with the artery. The tubing should be directed away from the patient and towards the monitoring device.

On dogs, the best site for cuff placement is on the front leg over the metacarpal area and alternately, either over the anterior tibal artery or just below the hock or metatarsal area. In anesthetized patients, most surgeries are done on the posterior part of the body so the metacarpal area of the forelimb is most convenient. In situations where this is not possible, the cuff should be wrapped around the metatarsus just proximal to the tarsal pad or around the hind leg just distal to the hock.

On cats, the best place to measure is on the median artery on the forelimb. Place the cuff around the forelimb, between the elbow and the carpus. For an awake cat, the tail is also an acceptable site to measure blood pressure.

In dogs or cats less than 5 lbs., it is best to place the cuff above the elbow which would be over the brachial artery.

Tip #1: For all patients, to capture the most accurate and precise blood pressure, it is best medical practice to shave the sampling site. 

Tip #2: Ideal Blood Pressure is taken when the patient is in lateral recumbency so that the limb from which the blood pressure is taken should be at the same level as the heart. The blood pressure cuff should be maintained as close to the level of the right atrium as possible.

Tip #3: Use a small file folder or coupon organizer to separate cuffs and keep them neatly organized and easily accessible.

For best medical practice, to attain optimal signal acquisition and to protect patients' lives, it is recommended that all sensors and cables be replaced every six months.

Call Leading Edge Customer Support for more information on proper cleaning techniques and maintenance tips for your monitor and blood pressure cuff accessories. 1-877-897-5577