Using a small blood pressure machine which is connected to a cuff around your upper arm, your blood pressure is monitored to check for hypertension, or to ascertain what happens to your blood pressure throughout the day and night.
Your blood pressure monitor will be fitted in our Outpatients appointment by a nurse. It is usually placed inside a protective cover to ensure the equipment does not move or get damaged over the 24 hour period. The machine takes regular readings throughout the day, usually around every 15-30 minutes during the day and every 30-60 minutes at night, but this may vary depending on the patient. You will be able to go about normal daily life with it on.
The machine will alert you when it is about to take a reading, and it is best to sit down if possible, keep your arm steady, and keep as relaxed as possible during the reading to ensure the most accurate readings. You will also need to sleep with the monitor on, and it is advised to avoid showering or bathing during the 24 hour period if possible. If you do decide to shower or bath, you will need to replace it in the same position as before.
You will be asked to keep a diary of each reading, and also make a little note of what you were doing at the time of the reading. You will not have to do this during the night, but record it is as soon as you wake up.
You do not need to do anything to prepare for your 24 hour blood pressure monitoring. It is advisable to wear loose clothing to your appointment to fit the blood pressure monitor, and also during the 24 hour period of measurement.
If you take any medications, your nurse or consultant will advise whether you are to still take these during the time frame.
Your results will be analysed and discussed with you during your next appointment.
There are no risks or side effects associated with 24 hour blood pressure monitoring.