TexasTriathlete

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Apparently, there is a store where I can get a discount on various stuff (trauma shears, scrubs, other equipment), by virtue of where I work (regional trauma center). So I am going to go there and buy a sphyg.

First of all, this seems like it is a pretty simple device. What separates the $30 ones from the $175 ones?

Next of all, any suggestions? I think this place has a pretty wide selection. What has worked for you guys? Probably more importantly, are there any that you would suggest I stay away from?
 

nlax30

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Oct 4, 2006
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I'd think most will probably just say get a basic/cheap unit and be done with it. Accuracy-wise I don't think we'd really see much of a difference.

But, there are a few options you may like to have, like having a detachable cuff, and a gauge that's on the pump part instead of on the cuff, etc...

I got a Welch Allyn unit when I got all my other equipment here. Not the cheapest set but it came with an adult and child cuff, and the gauge/bulb part is one unit that I can attach different cuffs to. I like having the gauge and bulb together, I can't stand having the gauge stuck on the cuff.
http://www.welchallyn.com/wafor/students/products/en-us/x-18-mu-104-1175697838380.jsp

That and I just wanted something slightly better than a bargain basement sphyg since I'll be holding onto this for a while. I guess pretty much any clinic environment you'll be in will have the wall unit. But I've already made good use of mine, with friends/family, at several health fairs here, and will be using all my equipment down on a Jamaica trip this summer.
 

silas2642

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Jul 24, 2005
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Apparently, there is a store where I can get a discount on various stuff (trauma shears, scrubs, other equipment), by virtue of where I work (regional trauma center). So I am going to go there and buy a sphyg.

First of all, this seems like it is a pretty simple device. What separates the $30 ones from the $175 ones?

Next of all, any suggestions? I think this place has a pretty wide selection. What has worked for you guys? Probably more importantly, are there any that you would suggest I stay away from?
Of all the things you'll need for medical equipment, I think that this is the thing you'll need the least simply because bp cuffs are everywhere. Even if you go to rural sites that don't have otoscopes and opthalmasocpes hanging on the wall, requiring to use your own diagnostic set, they will have bp cuffs. That being said, if you absolutely feel the need to buy one, I would suggest buying a cheaper one because they work just as well. Plus, if you lose it or it gets stolen, you won't feel nearly as badly. I got a $20 one off of amazon.com and it works just fine. The only reason I have one is because I needed to measure my own blood pressure for a time for personal medical reasons.
 

Non-TradTulsa

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I'll lay aside the argument of whether you need a BP cuff or not. I wanted one, and always have it in my bag. Can't tell you how many times I've had to bail-out another student in the hospital when the cuff in the room didn't work - and nobody knew where the patient care assistant with the automated cuff was (which would have been cheating, anyway, since we're supposed to be practicing manual BPs). I have no regrets about buying mine.

I bought the Welch-Allyn unit with the "trigger" pump and the dial on the pump. I find the trigger pump much easier to use - you also just flip a valve and use the same trigger handle to release the pressure - much easier to control than than trying to unscrew a valve (if you're inexperienced, you're bound to get 'ausculatory gap' from releasing the pressure too slowly). Comes with 4 cuffs, and great for newbies, in my book. I think I spent about $100. Just make sure you don't lose the little plastic adapter piece - because if you ever want to use the hospital's (old-style) cuff with the trigger pump, you need the adapter in the bag to make it work. I like my pump/gauge unit, but I don't like using my own cuffs with patients who are infectious.
 

jrf331

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I bought one and didn't use it at all. If you get one get the cheapest piece of crap you can find, because there is a good chance you will never take it out of the packaging.
 

Jamers

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Dec 6, 2005
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Apparently, there is a store where I can get a discount on various stuff (trauma shears, scrubs, other equipment), by virtue of where I work (regional trauma center). So I am going to go there and buy a sphyg.

First of all, this seems like it is a pretty simple device. What separates the $30 ones from the $175 ones?

Next of all, any suggestions? I think this place has a pretty wide selection. What has worked for you guys? Probably more importantly, are there any that you would suggest I stay away from?
I got through two years with a cheap *** one I first got for nursing; 30 bucks.
 

bigdog8829

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i got mine from walgreens. and am damn happy i did. set me back 15 bones.
a steth you'll actually use, for what seems like forever. lots of docs still use the one they got in med school. never really heard of a hospital where you'll need to bring in your own $125 sphyg tho.
cheapest one avail imo
 

Non-TradTulsa

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i got mine from walgreens. and am damn happy i did. set me back 15 bones.
a steth you'll actually use, for what seems like forever. lots of docs still use the one they got in med school. never really heard of a hospital where you'll need to bring in your own $125 sphyg tho.
cheapest one avail imo
Maybe it's just my academic medical center. The reason I wanted to have one is that they no longer calibrate or maintain the cuffs that are still on the wall - nobody uses them since the techs have the automated units on wheels. As a third-year student, I couldn't care less - whatever the last reading in the chart was is good enough unless the patient is crashing. As a second-year student, I cared a lot - the job was to practice getting BPs manually on patients (one of the many skills they teach us that, as physicians, we'll almost never use). I agree a dirt-cheap unit is perfectly fine; I just don't regret getting the one that I have. My own weird personal preference.