24 Hour Blood Pressure (BP) Monitor

What is a Blood Pressure Monitor?

A blood pressure monitor is a small device which can be fitted to your upper arm to record multiple blood pressure readings over a 24 hour period.

Why am I having a Blood Pressure Monitor?

 

A blood pressure monitor is commonly used to assess blood pressure changes over a 24 hour period and to help diagnose high blood pressure.

 You will need to wear the monitor for a minimum of 20 hours. It is important that you do not remove the device early prior to this timeframe as the test may need to be repeated if the monitoring period is too short or incomplete.

What are the risks involved with this test?

There are no significant risks associated with a blood pressure monitor. However you may experience some mild discomfort when the cuff inflates, particularly if your blood pressure is high.

What do I need to do to prepare for my test?
  • It is important that you have a shower or bath before your appointment as the blood pressure monitor is not waterproof.
  • Please inform the scientist of any medicines that you are currently taking.
  • For your comfort, please wear loose fitting clothes for your appointment – particularly as the wires associated with the device can be somewhat bulky. It is best to wear a separate top and bottom.
What happens?
  • First, an automatic blood pressure reading is taken on both arms to decide which arm will be best to wear the cuff. The blood pressure cuff will be fitted to this arm, and the wires will be connected from the cuff to the monitoring device.
  • The scientist will take a manual measurement before you leave to ensure the device is functioning properly.
How is my blood pressure recorded?
  • The cuff will inflate every 30 minutes during the day, and every 1 hour during the night (10 pm – 6 am). It is important to keep your arm relaxed, straight and still when the cuff inflates.
  • Each recording will take approximately 40 seconds. If the recording is unsuccessful, or if your blood pressure is particularly high, the monitor will repeat another one straight away.
  • You will need to fill in a diary for each time the blood pressure is taken. The diary will ask you to write down what activity you were doing at the time of each measurement, and write down the time the monitor records (e.g. 34 am, 10.04 am…). You will also need to write down your approximate sleep hours (e.g. 9 pm to 6 am).
  • Please bring this diary back with you when you have your blood pressure monitor removed.
  • The blood pressure monitor takes approximately 15–20 minutes to attach and 5 minutes to remove. You will need to wait while the scientist downloads the recording from the monitor.
  • The recording is then analysed, and a report will be sent to the requesting doctor.
What can I do while the cuff is in place?
  • You will be unable to bath or shower while you are wearing the blood pressure monitor.
  • It is important that while wearing the blood pressure monitor that you continue to do your normal daily activities (with the exception of bathing or showering).