During 24-hour, or ambulatory, blood pressure monitoring, individuals wear the monitor as instructed throughout the day and night and keep a written diary of their normal daily activities, according to Family Doctor. This is done to help doctors analyze the differences between active and resting blood pressure readings.
After being fitted for a monitor and blood pressure cuff, patients leave the doctor's office and begin monitoring at home, Suntech Medical explains. Typically, the monitor takes readings every 15 to 30 minutes during waking hours and every 30 to 45 minutes while the person is asleep. Upon returning to the doctor's office, personal readings are transferred to a computer where the doctor can easily analyze the data and put together a comprehensive patient profile.
Several different situations call for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, notes Family Doctor. Patients with borderline high blood pressure or difficulties controlling high blood pressure are common candidates. Pregnant women with high blood pressure and individuals who have recently changed medications may also be required to submit to 24-hour blood pressure monitoring. This type of monitoring helps a doctor determine if high blood pressure readings only occur during doctor's appointments, which is a condition known as white-coat hypertension.