AMBULATORY BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORING
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) takes numerous readings of your blood pressure over a 24-hour period or longer. It provides accurate and reliable information and can give you and your doctor a truer picture of your blood pressure than occasional visits and readings taken at your doctor’s office.
The monitor is a small device worn in a pouch that has a blood pressure cuff attached to it. The cuff is fitted on the patients arm and inflates and deflates automatically throughout the 24- or
48-hour period it is worn.
Usually, your heart rate and blood pressure will be measured at 15 to 30 minute periods during the day and every 30 minutes to one hour at night. Although you may notice the first few times the cuff inflates, you will soon become used to the monitor. Most people find them very easy to wear.
Most ambulatory blood pressure monitors use either what’s called an ausculatory method or an oscillomtetric method. Blood pressure sounds are determined by the ausculatory method that uses microphones under the blood pressure cuff. The oscillometric method involves measuring movement of the blood after closing off the brachial artery, the main artery that runs from the shoulder down to the elbow. Some devices use both methods. The data is stored and then interpreted by trained professionals in your doctor’s office.