Ambulatory Blood Pressure (ABP) monitoring is a diagnostic tool designed to monitor the blood pressure over 24 hours and thus gain an overall profile of variation in a day. It is a portable test undertaken in the course of a normal day. The test is entirely painless however some pressure on the arm may be felt when the blood pressure cuff is inflating. It can be used for infants, children or adults.
The Monitor measures and records blood pressure readings from the brachial artery at pre-programmed time intervals. The monitor is equipped with an internal pump to inflate the cuff and all recordings are stored on a solid state memory card. The ABP Monitor can measure and record blood pressure readings every 30 minutes between 7am and 10pm and then every hour between 10pm and 7am.
The main aim of ABP monitoring is to document blood pressure over a given period (usually 24 hours). Blood pressure readings may then be correlated with daily activities and symptoms. Some reasons for your physician to request an ABP monitor may include:
Simply remove the cuff from your arm. You must return the entire device, along with the diary to the Cardiac Department on level three, between 8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday. After hours it can be returned to Edgar Stephens Ward on level three, or it may be returned in a prepaid courier bag which can be purchased from reception.
ABP monitoring is a safe and acceptable method of taking blood pressure measurements. It can be successfully performed on nearly all children. Prolonged application of the cuff may cause bruising or swelling at the application site, although this is uncommon. There may be other risks depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your physician prior to wearing the monitor.
All blood pressure data is transferred to a computer for analysis. Symptoms recorded in the diary can then be correlated with changes in the blood pressure over the 24 hour period.
If the monitor is not detecting blood pressure (if the cuff does not inflate):
To manually record a blood pressure, press the blue button located on the top of the monitor box. Your technician will show you how to do this.
How do I pay for the ABP monitoring test?
For Medicare card holders the Hospital will bulk bill (please remember to bring your Medicare card).
How long will the test take?
The ABP Monitor records for 24 hours. A blood pressure measurement is taken and recorded every 30 minutes between 7am and 10pm, and then every hour between
10pm and 7am.
Can I have a shower or swim during the test?
No. Water will cause damage to the monitor.
Do I have to do anything during the ABP monitoring?
Yes. You will need to keep a diary of your activities during the recording period. Your physician/technician will give the diary to you.
When will I receive the ABP Monitor results?
Results of the test and a report will be forwarded to your referring doctor. If you have further questions, please speak to your referring doctor or telephone (02) 9845 2345.
Please take care of the monitor.
The cost of any damage caused to the monitor will have to be reimbursed in full.