Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (BP watch) is a test where your blood pressure and heart rate are taken at a fixed time interval for 24 hours, while you carry on with your daily activities.
It is particularly useful for patients with high blood pressure as it helps your doctor determine if your blood pressure medications are effective. It is also used to monitor borderline
hypertension, young hypertension and poor blood pressure control. This 24-hour monitoring allows the doctor to study the variations of your blood pressure throughout the day.
There are no direct risks involved. A BP watch is generally well tolerated. However, some individuals may develop rashes or blisters on the areas in direct contact with the strap of the watch.
The MT will then proceed to use a conventional blood pressure machine to take 3 readings to determine an average blood pressure. This is followed by measuring the circumference of your wrist to provide you with the appropriate strap size for the watch.
Next, the MT will proceed to feel for the pulse on your wrist. Once the pulse is found, the BP watch will be strapped on your wrist and connected to the computer to obtain an average arterial pulse wave form. When the calibrated reading is obtained, the watch is programmed to start its 24-hour monitoring, with readings taken at 15 minutes interval.
During this monitoring period, you are not allowed to remove the watch. You can continue with your normal daily activities (except for showering and vigorous exercise). In order to achieve higher success data return rate, it is recommended you sleep on the side without the BP watch and rest the hand with BP watch on a pillow while sleeping. You are also required to note down the time you go to bed and the time you wake up in the diary provided to you.
If there are insufficient (less than 50% successful) recordings throughout the test, your doctor may request for a repeat of the test.
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