An ‘Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor’ is a device that will measure your blood pressure over a 24 hour period. It is worn during regular daily activities under regular clothing.
It is used to determine the pattern of your blood pressure during the day and night. It helps to determine the need for blood pressure medication or whether existing medication is providing adequate control. It is also useful in the diagnosis of “white-coat hypertension”, a condition where blood pressure only appears to be elevated when it is measured at the doctor’s surgery.
Preparing for the Procedure – What do you need to do?
The only requirement is that the patient wear loose-fitting clothes. You should wear a top with loose fitting sleeves as the device is attached to your arm.
Procedure – What happens?
A blood pressure cuff is attached to the arm. It is loose fitting, but it tightens at regular intervals, usually on an hourly basis, in order to take the blood pressure. Discomfort may be experienced during the night when the device take blood pressure, but you will need to leave the device to do its work for the test to be valid.
How long does it take?
It takes approximately 5 minutes to apply the monitor and less than 5 minutes to remove it.
Possible Complications And Risk
Blood pressure monitoring is extremely safe and no different than carrying around a small tape recorder for 24 hours.
You will be asked to make an appointment for a short revisit with the cardiologist to go through the outcomes of the test. Your cardiologist will also write a letter to your GP highlighting the outcomes of the test.