What is a 24 hour blood pressure monitor?
A 24 hour blood pressure monitor – also known as an ambulatory blood pressure monitor – is a wearable device that measures your blood pressure as you go about your daily life over a 24 hour period. This gives insight into the variability of your blood pressure, allowing identification of hypotension (low blood pressure), hypertension (high blood pressure), response to blood pressure medication, or other abnormalities.
What happens during ambulatory blood pressure monitoring?
A blood pressure cuff, like that you may have worn previously in your doctor’s office, is placed on the upper arm and attached to a small recorder which is carried over the shoulder. The monitor is worn non-stop for a 24 hour period and measures your blood pressure at regular intervals, including while you sleep. You will be asked to keep a diary of your activities and symptoms so that the interpreting cardiologist can correlate any symptoms with blood pressure abnormalities. You ought to go about your usual activities, such as working, exercising, driving a car, and so on, to give an accurate representation of your blood pressure, but you will not be able to bathe, shower, or swim. You will return to the office with the device after 24 hours. You will see a cardiac technician for this test and your results will be reviewed and reported by a cardiologist.
How do I prepare for 24 hour blood pressure monitoring?
As you will not be able to shower, bathe, or swim for the duration of the 24 hour monitoring period, please ensure that you are refreshed before attending. Wear a loose, short-sleeved shirt to your appointment; you will be asked to pull up the sleeve or slip your arm out of the shirt so the cuff can be attached. There are no risks associated with this type of test.
Please ensure that you are available to return the monitor along with your symptom & activity diary to us at the end of the 24 hour period. This will usually just take a few minutes; the technician will give further instructions for return at the time of fitting the monitor.