Hawksley random zero sphygmomanometer versus the standard sphygmomanometer: an investigation of mechanisms

M T Kinirons, V L Maskrey, M Lawson, C G Swift, S H Jackson

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There has been recent controversy over the accuracy of the Hawksley random zero sphygmomanometer (RZS). In most instances, there has been a bias towards lower recordings with the RZS. In an attempt to identify the mechanism, we designed a study to test the hypothesis that biased error is due to: (1) the magnitude of the random zero; and (2) the magnitude of the pressure being recorded. A RZS (60 mm Hg zero UK version) was connected via a Y-tube to a standard mercury sphygmomanometer (SMS). The circumference of the cam responsible for the variable reservoir size in the RZS was marked into quarters. Within each 10 mm Hg band from 300 to 60 mm Hg, 12 paired readings were taken randomly: three within each of the four quarters of the cam circumference. The mean SMS value was 148.8 vs. 148.2 mm Hg for the RZS. Although of minimal biological significance this difference was highly significant (t = 6.2; p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-573
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1995


  • Blood Pressure Determination
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results

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