24 Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure (ABP) Monitor
What is a BP Monitor?
An Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor (ABP Monitor) measures a patient’s blood pressure at periodic intervals throughout a 24 hour period as he / she goes about their normal activities.
The blood pressure is measured by a cuff which is placed around the arm in the same way that would done by your doctor.
Why perform the Test?
We perform this test to either diagnose or monitor hypertension (High Blood Pressure).
What happens during the BP Monitor period?
The Monitor measures the blood pressure every 30 minutes between 8am and 10pm and every 60 minutes between 10pm and 8am.
To do this, the monitor inflates the cuff (so it becomes tight around the arm) and then deflates – this is when the measuring is taking place. During times of measurement, if it is safe to do so, please sit or stand still with the arm that the cuff is on hanging freely by the side.
Any tensing of muscles, shaking of hands or movement of the arm, could interfere with the measurement which will only cause the monitor to repeat the reading in a few minutes.
There may be times, such as when driving a vehicle, that the monitor commences a measurement. At a time like this, it would not be safe to remove your hand from the steering wheel and dangle your arm down by your side. Don’t be concerned about missing the occasional measurement for this reason.
If you have any difficulties with the equipment, please notify the office.
For the duration of your Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring you can not:
- Remove the Monitor from its pouch, or tamper with the tubing or battery as this may erase data from the device.
- Have a bath / swim / shower with the monitor on - you cannot get the monitor wet
Preparation for an Ambulatory Blood Pressure (ABP) Monitor
On the day of the BP Monitor Test we recommend the following:
- Bath or shower before your appointment as you will not be able to do so while the monitor is on.
- There are no specific dietary preparations for this test.
What to Wear for the BP Monitor
When you enter the test room patients are required to:
- Undress to the waist so wear a two-piece outfit
- Manipulation of bras (on and off) during the monitoring period risks dislodging electrodes and / or leads, therefore women are asked to commit to either wearing no bra for the monitoring period, or wearing a bra for the whole 24 hours without removing it. If “bra-on” is your preference, please wear your most comfortable one.
BP Monitor Test Connections
Patients are prepared for the test by having the cuff connected by a rubber hose to a small monitor (about 10cm x 7cm x 2.5cm) which is worn on a belt around the waist.
Booking a BP Monitor Test
You must attend on 2 consecutive days for this test. Patients - are required to return at the same time the next day, or a little earlier. Please check the time with the Technician
This is when the ABP Monitor is applied. This usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.
The next day patients return to have the ABP Monitor removed. This usually takes 10 to 15 minutes.