Comparison of 46 handwritten and electromechanically generated blood pressure records revealed substantial differences between the recordings. The highest automated record pressures exceeded the highest pressures found in corresponding handwritten records. Similarly, the lowest pressures from automated records were lower than those from handwritten records. Seventeen records (37%) had at least three automatic blood pressure determinations with values substantially in excess of the most extreme values recorded by hand. No handwritten record contained a diastolic pressure above 110 mmHg.
Discrepancies between handwritten and automatic records may arise from one or more causes. Among these are readings captured automatically but not observed by the anesthesiologist, faulty reconstruction of handwritten records from memory, and bias in favor of less controversial values.
(C) 1989 American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.