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24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitor & ECG: Electrocardiogram

Please book an appointment for these services. (Please note with certain insurance medicals, you may require an ECG and this may involve booking a separate appointment for this procedure). Please do not wear compression stockings when you attend for ECG

24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitor.
What is an ambulatory blood pressure monitor. An ambulatory blood pressure monitor records your blood pressure at regular intervals over a 24 hour period. "Ambulatory" just refers to the fact that you can walk around and perform all your normal activities during the day. Just as the doctor or nurse in the clinic takes your blood pressure, this monitor takes it over a longer period of time, normally 24 hours.

A 24 hour monitor gives a very accurate record of BP and is particularly useful in diagnosis & monitoring of hypertension.

How a 24 Hour BP Monitor is performed

You will be asked to remove your top clothes and then to sit on a couch. Next the nurse will place a blue cuff around your arm, and a monitor on a belt around your waist.
The nurse will make the monitor take one blood pressure reading to show you what to expect. The cuff will start to fill with air and get quite tight on your arm for a few seconds while it takes your blood pressure. This feels a little uncomfortable but it is very normal. Then the cuff deflates and the reading is recorded in the monitor.
The monitor will do this every 60 minutes for the following 24 hours. You need to wear the monitor on your arm and waist for an entire 24 hour period. You should wear comfortable loose clothing so the monitor is not visible when you are wearing it.
You will need to go about your normal activities while wearing the monitor. The monitor provides details of how your blood pressure behaves when you are going about your normal daily life. It gives us information about what your blood pressure is like when you are stressed, relaxed, working, sleeping, eating, drinking etc.

When you return with the monitor, the nurse will transfer the details into a computer and a report will be printed. This report is sent to the doctor who requested the test, who will then decide whether any further action is required.

What is an ECG: ECG (electrocardiogram) is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heart. The heart is a muscular organ that beats in rhythm to pump the blood through the body. The signals that make the heart's muscle fibres contract come from the sinoatrial node, which is the natural pacemaker of the heart.
In an ECG test, the electrical impulses made while the heart is beating are recorded and usually shown on a piece of paper. This is known as an electrocardiogram, and records any problems with the heart's rhythm, and the conduction of the heart beat through the heart which may be affected by underlying heart disease.

What is the resting ECG used for:

  • The information obtained from an electrocardiogram can be used to discover different types of heart disease.
  • It may be useful for seeing how well the patient is responding to treatment.
  • It is a good idea to have an ECG in the case of symptoms such as dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing), chest pain (angina), fainting, palpitations or when someone can feel that their own heart beat is abnormal.
  • The test can show evidence of disease in the coronary arteries. Unfortunately, in many people who have significant narrowing of the arteries supplying the heart muscle, the ECG recording made at rest is often normal. Therefore, if a significant narrowing is suspected, an ECG recording is often made when the patient is exercising (an exercise stress test) as this is more likely to reveal the problem.
  • An ECG can be used to assess if the patient has had a heart attack or evidence of a previous heart attack.
  • An ECG can be used to monitor the effect of medicines used for coronary artery disease.
  • An ECG reveals rhythm problems such as the cause of a slow or fast heart beat.
  • To demonstrate thickening of a heart muscle (left ventricular hypertrophy), for example due to long-standing high blood pressure.
  • To see if there are too few minerals in the blood.

An ECG may appear normal even in the presence of significant heart disease. Thus, for a full assessment of the heart, other tests may be needed.

How is an ECG performed? Up to 12 self-adhesive electrodes will be attached to select locations of the skin on the arms, legs and chest. Areas such as the chest where the electrodes will be placed may need to be shaved. First, the skin is cleaned. The test is completely painless and takes less than a minute to perform once the leads are in position. After the test, the electrodes are removed.
The doctor will review the paper print-out of the ECG.