What is a 24 Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor?

An Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor is a small device, no larger than a mobile phone, which is used to regularly measure and record blood pressure over a 24 hour period. It is a simple, effective method of monitoring your Blood Pressure over an extended period.

Why is a 24 Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor done?

Results from a 24 Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor will indicate whether you have high blood pressure and assess the control of your blood pressure over a longer period. One-off Blood Pressure readings may not reveal periods of poorly controlled high blood pressure. An Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor will indicate fluctuations in blood pressure, as readings are taken regularly over a period of 24 hours.

The Monitor automatically inflates the cuff, measures and records blood pressure and heart rate readings half hourly during the day and hourly during the night. This allows evaluation of the efficacy of a medication or how your blood pressure responds during your daily routine.

How should I prepare for a 24 Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor?

As you wear the Blood Pressure Monitor continuously for a 24 hour period and as it is an electronic device which cannot get wet, it is beneficial to shower before the Monitor is fitted.
It is advisable to wear a two piece outfit with a loose top and sleeve while doing the test.
Please do not use cream or talc on your chest area on the day of the test.
Take your usual medications (unless your Doctor advises otherwise). Please bring a list of your medications and your referral.

What is involved?

To allow our Nurse to fit the Blood Pressure Monitor you will need to remove your blouse or shirt.
You will have a Blood Pressure Cuff on your arm just above the elbow on your dominant arm for the 24 hours, this is connected to the Monitor.
The Monitor is stored in a cloth pouch and worn diagonally across your chest for the duration of the test.
Our Nurse will take the first Blood Pressure reading once the Monitor is fitted.
Please be careful not to get the Monitor wet. You will not be able to shower while you wear the Monitor, so it is beneficial to shower before the Monitor is fitted.
Once the Monitor is in place, do not touch or adjust the Monitor.
You are then ready to wear the Blood Pressure Monitor for a “regular” day – carry on with normal activities.
The Monitor automatically inflates the cuff, measures and records blood pressure and heart rate readings half hourly during the day and hourly during the night.
Each time the cuff inflates, relax your arm, letting it hang straight, not bent. Try to keep your arm as still as possible during the reading or the cuff will inflate again until a correct reading is taken.
Please record your activities and any symptoms (eg headache, dizziness, light headedness, fainting etc.) and the time and duration you experience them in the Event Diary to help the Doctor make a more accurate evaluation. Please also record the circumstances associated with the symptoms.
Keep the Diary and a pen with you at all times.
Do not have X-rays taken while wearing the Blood Pressure Monitor.
The Monitor runs on batteries and, therefore, requires no external power source.
Having worn the Monitor for 24 hours, please return the Blood Pressure Monitor to reception at Peninsula Cardiology Centre at the specified time.

How long will it take?

It only takes about 15 minutes to have the 24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitor put on. The patient will return the next day to have the Monitor removed, this should only take 10 minutes. Please bring your completed Diary.

Does it hurt?

The procedure is not painful, however, you will be aware each time the cuff inflates and some patients find this uncomfortable. The use of the Monitor is safe, it is particularly compact and only worn for 24 hours.

When will my referring GP get the report?

The data is downloaded and analysed and a report prepared. Your General Practitioner will receive the report by electronic mail usually within  a day of the test being completed.

How soon can I get an appointment?

Patients can usually obtain an appointment at Peninsula Cardiology for a 24 Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor test within 1 to 2 working days.