Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) measures your blood pressure as you carry on your normal routine. The small digital machine measures your blood pressure at regular intervals in order to provide a clear picture of how your blood pressure changes throughout the day. A cuff is placed around your upper arm and the machine itself can be attached to a belt for comfort.
The digital machine is programmed to take a reading every 30 minutes during the day and then hourly during the night. Just before a reading is due to be taken, the machine will beep to make you aware the recording is due to commence. When this occurs, you should relax the arm and sit or stand still. If possible, ensure the cuff is at the same height as your heart. You should also note down what you were doing immediately before the recording as this provides context to the reading. Other notable events such as taking BP medication and symptoms such as dizziness should also be noted.
ABPM usually lasts for 24 hours, at which point you return the machine to the clinic and the results are then analysed and prepared for your doctor.