Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
It is a
small machine, about the size of a portable radio. You wear it on a belt. The
blood pressure cuff on the monitor can be worn under your clothes, usually for
24 hours, without anyone seeing it. The picture to the left shows a person
wearing an ambulatory blood pressure monitor.
This machine lets your doctor find out what your blood pressure was every 15
to 30 minutes of a normal day. The information collected by this machine can
help you and your doctor see if your blood pressure treatment is working.
Your doctor may want you to use an ambulatory blood pressure monitor for one
or more of the following reasons:
- If you have "borderline" high blood pressure
- If you and your doctor can't keep your blood pressure under control
- If you have blood pressure problems caused by your other medicines
- If you are pregnant and have high blood pressure
- If you have fainting spells
The monitor may help your doctor find out if you are a person who only has
high blood pressure when you are at the doctor's office. This is called
The small blood pressure cuff that is connected to the monitor will
automatically check your blood pressure about every 30 minutes while awake, and
once an hour while you are sleeping. Some people feel a little discomfort
from the frequent pressure checks. Some people get a rash, but it usually goes
away without treatment.
After 24 hours of monitoring, you will take the machine to the doctor's
office. The blood pressure information is transferred from the monitor to a
computer. The computer helps the doctor make sense of the information. Your
doctor will review the information with the ordering physician or with the
patient during the next scheduled office visit.