Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring

What is an Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor?

Your doctor has suggested that you have an Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor as part of your evaluation at National Jewish Health. An Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor is a monitor you wear that records your blood pressure at regular intervals over a 24 hour period. The test results will be studied closely to help determine your diagnosis and the best treatment for you.

What is done during the test?

The technologist will explain the test to you before you start. This test does not hurt. Ask questions if you don’t understand. The nurse or technologist will place a blood pressure cuff on your upper arm. This will be attached to a small monitor you will carry with you during the test. It is small enough to attach to a belt. You may want to wear loose fitting clothing for your comfort during the test.

Can you shower or bathe while wearing the monitor?

Do not get the monitor wet. You may take the monitor and cuff off between cycled cuff inflations to bathe. Keeping the monitor on as much as possible will increase the quality of the test.

How long do you wear the monitor?

You will wear the monitor for 24 hours. The technologist will tell you when your 24 hour time will be completed and when to remove the monitor and cuff.

What if you feel palpitations or dizziness while wearing the monitor?

If you feel heart palpitations, your heart speed up, are short of breath, feel dizzy or light headed, or have other symptoms then activate the monitor to take a blood pressure.

How do you activate the monitor to take your blood pressure?

Press the play/stop button on the monitor. This activates the monitor to take your blood pressure.

What will you do when the time is completed?

When the 24 hours is completed, you may remove and the blood pressure cuff.  Please return the monitor, the blood pressure cuff, and the monitor case to National Jewish Health.  You can bring the equipment to the greeter in the 1st floor clinic waiting area within 1 to 2 days.

How will you get the test results?

The doctor who ordered the test will receive the test results within 3 to 5 days from the return of the monitor. Please contact the doctor who ordered the test for any test results.

If you have any questions, contact the Cardiology Division at 303.270.2670.

This information has been approved by Howard Weinberger, MD, and Ann Mullen, RN, MSN, AE-C (May 2008).

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