Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Omron BP742 Blood Pressure Monitor

I was recently chatting with an acquaintance who was concerned about her husband's health and high blood pressure.  I was stunned when she said that the doctor had told him to use an old fashioned blood pressure cup and a stethoscope at home to monitor his pressure daily. The doctor reportedly told him this because the "electronic" ones aren't reliable.  

Manual Blood Pressure Cuff
I am sure the electronic blood pressure monitors that can be used in public places such as pharmacies and some big box stores are not accurate. Maybe those were the monitors the doctor was referring to. You've probably seen them, the big machines that look like a quarter pony ride, you sit down, slide your arm in the contraption and get your blood pressure taken.  I am aware that those are not accurate.  But for home monitoring, I'm surprised that the old fashioned pump up cuff with the stethoscope was what was recommended.

I am not a doctor. Please follow your doctor's instructions. Especially when it comes to something as critical as high blood pressure.  However, I have my own opinion about monitoring my own troublesome blood pressure.

I have some pre-hypertension problems.  My frequent migraines have a large role in causing my high blood pressure.  Out of concern about my migraine medication changes and potential blood pressure problems, I began trying to monitor my pressure at home a few years ago.  I started with the regular manual cuff and stethoscope.  It was miserable.  I had a horrible time getting the cuff on myself, with one free hand. I had a very hard time of knowing what my blood pressure was. Trying to remember when I first heard the blood pump sound in the stethoscope and when I last heard the pump, while trying to unscrew the screw to let the air escape slowly. I just wasn't coordinated enough.  I gave up.

Omron BP742
I finally broke down and bought the Omron BP742 Blood Pressure Monitor.  I was skeptical. Thought I was throwing away good money on yet one more gadget that wouldn't get used more than a few times then left to gather dust.

But that wasn't the case. The Omron BP742 is GREAT.  I can easily place the cuff on my arm by using one hand. There is something about how the little metal bracket and the velcro works together that keeps the cuff mostly tight and yet loose enough to slide up my arm.  There are pictures and arrows on the cuff. A sort of "placement guide for dummies".  Something I definitely need.  The start and stop buttons are easy. The digital screen is large and easy to read.  The unit stores the numbers for not only one user, but two.

As far as reliability, the Omron seems very accurate. For a period of time, I had a nurse friend at work use the professional blood pressure machine in the health office to help me monitor. I even took my Omron to work a few times. I'd compare the Omron results with the results she'd get.  Of course, there was some difference based on what I was doing just before I went to her office. But overall, the readouts were very close.

Before long I was able to stop interrupting my friend in order to have her check my blood pressure.  And I am confident that my readings on my Omron are accurate.  I continue to monitor at home on a regular basis.  I've used this machine for over a year and haven't had an problems, nor have I had to replace the battery.

Omron BP742N Series 5
My Omron is an older model. The newer model, nearly same unit, is very popular and highly recommended.  

If you are having any hypertension concerns, I hope you are working with a doctor and closely tracking your numbers.  If you need a way to monitor at home, I highly recommend the Omron brand.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

8 comments:

  1. An excellent review Dawn Rae! Many of us need a reliable blood pressure monitor. I can assure you, my blood pressure would go through the roof if I had to try to figure out and fight the old fashioned blood pressure cup and a stethoscope. Thank you for the recommendation.

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    1. Thank you, Cynthia. I have no idea how anyone gets a reliable reading the old fashioned way.

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  2. I would think the old-fashioned blood pressure monitor using a stethoscope would necessitate using two hands - that's what doctors and nurses do. I can't imagine being able to use one at home one-handed. So glad to hear the Omron BP742 monitor is accurate and easy to use. Excellent review.

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  3. Thanks for a thorough review. This is certainly something I should look into.

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  4. An important review. Thank you, Dawn! I have a blood pressure monitor similar to this one and once a year I take it with me to the doctor's office to have it calibrated to make sure I'm getting the right numbers. I believe having a home monitor is one of the things that helped me get off the blood pressure meds.

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  5. what a great product to monitor blood pressure at home!

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  6. This is such an important product review as so many need to monitor their blood pressure on a regular basis. It's good that you compared it with a professional and found the Omron gives accurate readings.

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  7. Important topic. I'm not sure the kind someone I know has, but I think it's this one if I'm not mistaken?

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