Mercury Sphygmomanometers in Healthcare and the Feasibility of Alternatives
This document addresses the issue of whether the replacement of mercury-containing, blood-pressure measuring devices (sphygmomanometers) would (i) endanger proper health care including specific groups of patients, and/or (ii) compromise long-term translational epidemiological studies for public health. In addition, the availability and quality of alternative devices for blood pressure measurements have been considered. Blood pressure measurement is vital for the prevention and treatment of blood pressure related diseases, and for monitoring of cardiovascular homeostasis. Based on long-term experience, blood pressure measurement using the mercury sphygmomanometer is currently regarded as the gold standard method for indirect measurement of blood pressure.