What has science to do with your blood pressure

A lot, I believe. Just read my short article.

Just to avoid any misunderstanding, what follows is NOT a hidden hint of how to commit suicide.


Recently I had of see my doctor and he proposed to check my blood pressure. Well then, he knows the best,  let him do so. After doing this procedure he explained that everything was in the green range, according to the given standards. This means within a systolic pressure (when the heart retracts) of 140 mmHg and a diastolic pressure (when the heart relaxes) of 80 mmHg.

Only at home I started to think about the measured values and wondered what it’s meaning is with regard to science and in case of an accident.

Here are my thoughts:

  • My systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg, represents a Hg column of 14 cm height.

  • The specific weight of Hg is 13.5 g/cm3

My question was:

  • What, if I had a 1 cm2 big wound at my upper arm artery?

From my school time is remembered:

  • Pressure = Height * specific weight.

  • My calculation results in 14cm * 13,5 g/cm3 = 189 g/cm2

What I learned:

  • Arterial bleeding, close to the heart range, has a pressure of almost the weight of 2 dl of water per cm2. Therefore it can be very dangerous. 

Due to friction this gets less, the further one gets away from the heart. Bleeding from veins and capillaries has much less pressure of course.


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