As per its commitment at Minamata convention, and in line with other developed economies, the Indian government is set to ban the use of mercury sphygmomanometers by end of the year 2020. However, the Mercury sphygmomanometer is still widely used by clinicians in India. We conducted a survey to gauge the confidence of Indian clinicians on three primary devices of blood pressure (BP) measurement – mercury sphygmomanometer, aneroid sphygmomanometer and automatic digital BP monitor.
Materials and methods
We conducted an anonymous online survey through various clinician forums asking questions related to accuracy, reliability and expectations from BP monitors.
A total of 139 responses were received from clinicians across specialties. The results show that more than 80% of clinicians believe that mercury sphygmomanometers are the most accurate and nearly 50% find it most reliable. For most respondents, accuracy is the most important parameter and convenience of use and portability are secondary considerations. If a mercury-free sphygmomanometer is offered with the same accuracy and reliability, 88% of respondents said they are willing to buy it.
Mercury sphygmomanometer is still perceived favorably over other non-mercury alternatives by most Indian clinicians. Validated oscillometric devices should be promoted to bring about change in the perspectives of clinicians towards adopting non-mercury alternatives of BP measurement in India.