I came across this article on JEMS where a study was done on the differences between a manual and an automatic B/P reading and it reminded me of a conversation I had recently with a paramedic. In my county we use the Lifepak 12, ours are set up to be a BLS and an ALS tool as we can use it for pulse ox, B/P, capnography, Congreve, ECG and 12 lead ECG and as our AED. The paramedic and I were discussing the fact that most providers rely only on the information they obtain through their Lifepak now. We have both witnessed the look of panic on the newer members faces when the Lifepak beeps, alerting them that the pulse ox is not found because they put that on the same arm as the B/P cuff. When I first started I remember working with medics who insisted on at least one manual B/P, when going through my Enhanced class last year I had a few teachers who still felt the same way. Most people in my class rolled their eyes at the thought of taking a manual B/P, including myself, but after reading this article it definitely makes me take a step back.
Since the contributors and readers of this blog cover many states and protocols I figured we could get a good mix of opinions on this subject. So tell us, do you prefer only manual, only automatic, or a mixture of both?
P.S., When doing spell check on EMS related blogs you receive some interesting "suggestions." Instead of "capnography" spell check suggested that I use "pornography." Our Lifepak doesn't provide that, maybe it's an upgrade option?