Monitoring and Recording Your Blood Pressure at Home
For some people, coming to see the doctor or nurse can be stressful. For these people, this can mean that their blood pressure (BP) and pulse rate goes up whenever they see a healthcare professional. This is called "White-Coat Hypertension", and it makes it difficult to determine what their "true" BP really is underneath all that anxiety. For this reason, we may ask you to monitor your own BP at home, over a period of a week or so, and then give us a note of your readings so that we can work out your average home BP. This should reflect what your blood pressure is really like if you suffer from White-Coat Hypertension. This can also be very helpful if you are already on medication for your blood pressure, or you've had it increased recently, and it doesn't seem to be working properly.
If you have your own BP monitor at home, you can use this, or alternatively, we can loan you one from the Surgery for a week or two, depending on availability. If you do have your own machine, please be aware that only those that measure your BP at your arm provide a medically correct result. Those that measure BP at the wrist are not suitable for medical use. In addition, not all BP machines are of good enough quality for medical use, where the results might end up in you taking medication for the rest of your life. All of our Surgery machines meet these standards, so are reliable, but if you use your own machine, you should first check that it meets the approval of the British Hypertension Society by checking this website: Approved BP Machines
We have our own specially designed form on which to record your BP readings, and you will be given a copy by the doctor or nurse. If you lose it, or need to start again, another copy can be downloaded here:
Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Form
Please DO use our special form and DO NOT use scraps of paper, as this information needs to be clear and easy to interpret, and will be scanned into your electronic medical file.
If you would like additional instructions on how to measure your own BP at home, please watch: How to Use an Automatic BP Machine