Blood Pressure Monitoring Service
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is something that everyone has. Most people have normal blood pressure, but some have low and some have high blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the amount of work your heart must do to push your blood around your body. Average Blood pressure readings are around 120/80mmHg. The top number, 120, systolic pressure, is a record of your blood pressure at its highest, as your heart muscles push the blood out of the heart to move around the body. Then as your heart relaxes, between beats, the blood flows back into your heart and this is a record of the bottom number, 80, diastolic pressure.
Generally high blood pressure is 140/90mmHg and low pressure is 90/60mmHg or lower. High blood pressure can affect people of all ages, and often it does not show symptoms. If it is not treated or kept under control it is one of the major risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
What is 24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring?
24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring is a method for looking at how your blood pressure reads throughout a 24-hour period. A small machine measures your blood pressure at regular intervals throughout your normal day to day activities. In doing this you can get a clearer picture of how your blood pressure changes throughout the day, rather than the usual single method of measuring of blood pressure, which only shows one point in the day. By monitoring it all day you can work out if it is consistently or intermittently high, giving a more accurate picture for you and your healthcare providers.
There are several reasons that you may benefit from 24-hour blood pressure monitoring of which some are listed below:
- You have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and your doctor, or yourself, want to check how lifestyle changes or medication are helping to lower your blood pressure back towards normal.
- You suffer from ‘white coat hypertension’ which means that when you are at the doctors surgery or pharmacy getting your blood pressure measured you get an abnormally high reading as you are nervous or stressed.
- Your doctor may want to monitor and check your blood pressure at night as this gives a higher risk for heart disease.
- You have conditions that affect your heart, such as high cholesterol or diabetes.
How does the monitoring system work?
- Prior to receiving the service, the pharmacist will explain in detail how it works.
- The pharmacist will fit you with a small, lightweight monitor to wear on a belt around your waist, which is connected to a cuff on your arm.
- You will wear this for 24 hours, even while you sleep.
- At certain intervals throughout the day the cuff inflates and measures your blood pressure.
- You will be advised to continue your day as normal, so that a true reflection of the 24 hours can be obtained.
- When you return to the pharmacy following the 24-hour period the pharmacist will explain your results and offer lifestyle advice to help lower your blood pressure or maintain it at a healthy level.
- You will also receive a report which you can bring to your doctors.