No More New Mercury Sphygmomanometers

The confusion that has surrounded the use of Mercury in medical devices has been rumbling on for several years. It’s use was restricted in thermometers some years ago but 2014 now finally sees the banning of it in new Mercury sphygmomanometers for environmental reasons.

The sale of Mercury Sphygmomanometers is now banned under EU directive no 847/2012 which also bans the use of Mercury strain gauges.

Alternatives to the Mercury sphygmomanometer and Mercury strain gauge are widely available, in the case of strain gauges they now use Indium Gallium.

The highly popular validated A&D UM-102A offers Auscultatory manual blood pressure measurement without Mercury in a compact design it even looks like a Mercury sphygmomanometer! Hybrid automatic and manual sphygmomanometers like the A&D Medical  UM-211 are also available.

Interestingly enough the directive does allow the use of Mercury as a reference standard for the validation of new blood pressure monitors and for research. So the Gold Standard still lives on since it’s invention over 130 years ago in 1881!