What is Ambulatory BP Monitoring?

Ambulatory BP monitoring is measuring the blood pressure while an individual is moving around, leading a normal life. Ambulatory blood pressure is usually monitored up to 24 hours.

When is Ambulatory BP Monitoring recommended?

Ambulatory BP monitoring is not required for all hypertensive patients. It is indicated in certain individual cases, to monitor the Blood Pressure and provide better treatment.

Ambulatory BP Monitoring is required in the case of:

  • Borderline ‘High Blood Pressure’
  • Uncontrollable Blood Pressure
  • Drug induced Blood Pressure
  • Recently changed Blood Pressure medications
  • Frequent fainting spells
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy
  • White-coat Hypertension
  • Frequently fluctuating blood pressure

What is white coat hypertension?

In some people, blood pressure rises upon visiting the doctor’s clinic. The rise in blood pressure is due to the nervousness or fear of the medical environment. Otherwise, the blood pressure would remain normal. The person with white-coat hypertension would not require any medication for blood pressure

How is Ambulatory BP Monitoring carried out?

  • A small digital blood pressure machine is used for monitoring your blood pressure for 24 hours.
  • This machine is attached to your body with the help of a belt. It could also be attached with a cuff which is worn on the upper arm. The machine and cuff will be concealed by your clothing. The machine is small in size, and can be worn comfortably.
  • The machine records your blood pressure by inflating a cuff around your upper arm, and then slowly releasing the pressure. The blood pressure is recorded every 15-30 minutes during daytime, and every 30-60 minutes at night time.
  • The machine beeps just before it is about to take a reading. When this happens, you are advised to sit down, confirm if the cuff is at heart level and keep your arm in a steady position.
  • You are advised to carry out daily tasks while wearing the monitor, and are instructed to keep a record of activities performed during the blood pressure measurement.
  • During the night, the machine can be removed and placed under your pillow, or on the bed. Avoid swimming and bathing for one day.

After the procedure

At the end of 24 hours, the machine should be removed and submitted in the hospital, where the recorded blood pressure readings are transferred to a computer for analysis.

The doctor will analyze the blood pressure measurements and correlate them with the activities performed. After a thorough analysis, the doctor will plan the treatment program, or make changes in the existing treatment program.

Considerations

  • You may experience soreness in the arm due to frequent blood pressure measurement.
  • You may develop rashes in the area where the cuff was placed. This wears away by itself and does not require any treatment.
  • You may have disturbed sleep at night, as blood pressure is also recorded at night time.

 

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