News on Sphygmomanometers

Following the conference on EU Mercury Phase-Out in Measuring and Control Equipment held in Brussels on 18 June 2009, the European Commission expert committee that was examining the feasibility of alternatives to mercury sphygmomanometers has recommended that to maintain a high-level quality of blood pressure measurements, mercury devices should remain available as reference standards until an alternative standard is developed and recognised.

COCIR is very pleased with these conclusions as they correspond with COCIR recommendations as set out in our position paper from September 2008 and expressed at the Commission's meeting of 18 June 2009. The committee's conclusion is consistent with clinical needs as this type of device is critically important for patients with blood pressure problems. Hypertension is a worldwide epidemic with 44% of the European adult population suffering from high blood pressure. Mercury sphygmomanometers will continue to ensure accurate measurements for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

To read COCIR's presentation from the conference go to