ABPM FAQs, help and troubleshooting
The monitor and cuff you wear are checked and serviced regularly and the collector who fits them will make sure they are working correctly before you leave the centre. Occasionally, problems may still occur.
Below are some of the common questions that our patients ask us and answers that may help you.
Norav / Mobile Graph ABPM
If you are experiencing issues while wearing your monitor, the below FAQs may be able to assist in providing an answer.
If not, please contact the collection centre where your monitor was fitted. The contact details can be found on the front of your Patient Diary provided when your monitor was fitted. Or, you can find their details by clicking here and searching for the collection centre.
Most of your normal activities can be maintained while you are wearing the monitor and this is recommended so that your doctor can see what happens to your blood pressure on a typical day. There are some restrictions though. For example, you cannot shower, bathe or swim until the monitor is removed as it must not get wet. It is also best to avoid contact sports as this can cause damage to the monitor.
Your ABP monitor must not get wet so you cannot shower, bathe or swim while you are wearing it. You will need to wait until you have your monitor removed at the collection centre before showering and resuming any water activities. We recommend that you shower before your initial fitting.
Yes, you can continue to use your C-PAP machine. Care should be taken to ensure the tubing connected to the blood pressure cuff does not become entangled with your C-PAP cables.
- The red power button on the right-hand side is used to turn the ABP monitor on and off.
- The blue button on the left is the ‘start’ button. The collector will press this when they first turn on the monitor. Pressing this button will trigger a manual blood pressure reading and initiate the automatic measurements program. The collector will ask you to remain at the centre for the first automatic reading to ensure it works successfully before you leave.
- The middle blue button is the ‘day/night’ button. Press this firmly once just before going to sleep at night and press again once when you wake the following morning. It is important for your doctor to be able to identify when you were sleeping and see what was happening to your blood pressure, as this can provide valuable information and help inform a diagnosis.
- The blue button on the right-hand side of the monitor is the ‘event’ button. If you become unwell while wearing the monitor or experience any symptoms, press the ‘event’ button. This will trigger an additional blood pressure reading so your doctor can pay particular attention to this. Do not forget to record this event in your diary including the time, what you were doing and how you were feeling.
For your safety, it is important you remove the pouch strap and tubing from around your neck when you are ready to go to sleep. Place the monitor next to you on the bed or on another nearby surface. Ensure there are no kinks in the tubing as this can prevent blood pressure measurement recording. If there are not enough overnight measurements recorded, your doctor may need you to repeat the test. The cuff must remain attached to your arm.
Some people fall asleep quickly, some have difficulty. Some people sleep deeply, others more lightly. Due to the repeated inflation of the cuff overnight, you may not experience a typical night’s sleep.
To aid your sleep:
- The buzzer alerting you that a measurement is about to be taken is automatically switched off.
- Fewer blood pressure readings will be taken overnight. Your ABP monitor will be programmed to take your blood pressure every hour from 10pm until 6am. From 6am, half-hourly measurements will begin again.
If you go to bed before 10pm you need to switch the monitor to night mode. Do this by pressing the day/night button. Similarly, if you wake before 6am, press the day/night button to revert back to daytime settings and half-hourly measurements.
As a general rule you can continue to play sport if this is a typical activity for you except:
- All water-based activities need be avoided as the monitor must not get wet.
- Contact sports should be avoided as this can lead to damage to the monitor.
If you do play sport or exercise while wearing the ABP monitor, make sure you record the details in your diary so the doctor knows what you were doing at the time. This will explain the corresponding changes that will occur in your blood pressure.
Depending on the activity you are doing, errors may occur if you are unable to keep still with your arm by your side while measurements are being taken.
Record details about your activities, blood pressure medication use, sleep times and any symptoms you experience while wearing the ABP monitor. This is valuable information for your doctor and may help them to make a diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment.
It is strongly recommended that you reschedule any X-ray, MRI, and ultrasound appointments to when you are not wearing the ABP monitor. If the scan you require is urgent, please have it before booking in for your ABP monitoring.
The ABP monitor must not be worn during an MRI as there is metal in the monitor and the magnetic field from the MRI may interfere with storing of data.
While it is safe to wear the ABP monitor during an X-ray and ultrasound, interference with the cuff, tubing, or monitor may occur depending on which area of your body is being scanned and in some cases they would need to be removed. If the cuff and monitor are not refitted correctly, errors may occur and your doctor may need you to repeat the test if there is insufficient information to make a diagnosis.
It is essential that the cuff is fitted securely to your arm to ensure that accurate blood pressure measurements are being recorded. If the cuff comes loose during the monitoring period, it is important that it is adjusted as soon as possible.
You can adjust the cuff yourself if you are comfortable doing so. Assistance from another person can be helpful if available. During business hours, you can contact the collection centre and return to have the cuff adjusted by a trained collector if you prefer.
If adjusting the cuff yourself:
- Position the cuff so the ‘ART’ marker sits just off centre to your elbow, towards the inside of your arm.
- Wrap the cuff around your upper arm so the bottom edge of the cuff sits about 2-3cm above your elbow. You should still be able to bend your elbow. If any part of the cuff is covering your elbow, it is too low.
- Tighten the cuff and secure with the Velcro strip. The cuff should be tight enough that it does not move however loose enough that you can fit two fingers underneath.
- The grey tubing should point upwards to your shoulder. It should be positioned around your neck and down the front of the chest. Do not place the tubing under bra straps as the straps will cause kinks/blockages in the hose and measurements will not be recorded.
The cuff will inflate every 30 minutes during the day and every 60 minutes overnight to measure your blood pressure. If for some reason an error occurs and a measurement is unable to be obtained, the monitor will automatically attempt another reading, usually within a couple of minutes.
Everyone has a different tolerance to the blood pressure cuff. The regular and repeated inflation of the blood pressure cuff over 24 hours can cause temporary discomfort for some people while the measurement is occurring, however, it should not be painful.
If you experience pain, tingling in your fingers, notice bruising or have any other concerns contact the collection centre where you had the device fitted or contact our Patient Services Support Centre on (07) 3377 8230 or 1300 020 349 (Monday–Friday: 6.30 am–5 pm, Saturday: 7 am–12 noon AEST) for further advice.
If this happens outside working hours and/or you are unable to reach us, please remove the cuff from your arm and seek medical attention if required.
Attend the collection centre for your scheduled removal appointment. Please ensure you return the monitor, cuff and your Patient Diary. If you removed the monitor, record this in your diary and provide the details to the collector. We fill follow up with your doctor as required.
Some people can experience tingling in their hand or fingers during a measurement. This can occur as the cuff tightens. It should be temporary and resolve quite quickly once the cuff has deflated and there is no longer pressure on the arm. If the tingling persists, is accompanied by pain, or if you have any concerns, please contact your collection centre or our Patient Services Support Centre on (07) 3377 8230 or 1300 020 349 (Monday–Friday: 6.30 am–5 pm, Saturday: 7 am–12 noon AEST) for assistance.
If after hours, remove the cuff from your arm and discontinue the test. Seek medical care from your doctor or hospital if required.
If you become unwell during the monitoring period or have concerns regarding your health, please seek medical assistance from your doctor or hospital.
Call the collection centre or contact our Patient Services Support Centre on (07) 3377 8230 or 1300 020 349 (Monday–Friday: 6.30 am–5 pm, Saturday: 7 am–12 noon AEST) as soon as possible so we can work on resolving the issue for you.
If it is after hours but measurements still appear to be occurring, continue to wear the device so we can try and obtain as many readings as possible for your doctor. If the device completely shuts down and no measurements are being recorded (and the cuff is no longer inflating), you may remove the cuff from your arm. Return to the centre for your scheduled removal appointment and advise the collector what occurred. It is also helpful if you can document this in your Patient Diary.
If you have not been wearing the monitor for very long and it is during business hours, phone the collection centre where you had the monitor fitted to arrange a time to go back in and have them take a look at the monitor.
If it is after hours and the collection centre is closed, remove the cuff and monitor and keep them somewhere safe. Note this time in your diary. Attend your scheduled removal appointment and explain to the collector what occurred.
Your data and the information on the monitor will be reviewed. If there is not enough information to make a diagnosis, your doctor may need you to repeat the test. If a repeat test is required, you will not be charged for this.
If your monitor is showing an error, please contact the collection centre where you had the device fitted or our Patient Services Support Centre on (07) 3377 8230 or 1300 020 349 (Monday–Friday: 6.30 am–5 pm, Saturday: 7 am–12 noon AEST) straight away. If errors are occurring, the monitor will not be measuring and recording your blood pressure so we need to resolve the problem as soon as possible. When contacting us, it is helpful if you can note the error number that displays on the monitor screen so we can identify the problem quickly. If there are too many errors, your doctor may need you to repeat the test.
It is common for an error to occur if you move your arm while the monitor is taking a measurement. During the daytime, the monitor will beep as a warning just before it takes a reading. When you hear this beep, it’s important you keep your arm straight and as still as possible, providing it is safe to do so. If you are keeping your arm still during measurements and errors are still occurring, contact us straight away.
If after hours, ensure:
- The cuff is positioned correctly and secured well.
- You remain still and keep your arm down by your side for the duration of each measurement.
- There are no obvious kinks in the tubing.
- The tubing is still connected properly to the device.
If the errors continue and no measurements appear to be recording at all, remove the cuff from your arm and device from around your body. Return to the collection centre at your scheduled appointment time and advise the collector what occurred. Documenting the time you removed the device and why in your Patient Diary can also be helpful.
Your monitor is programmed to take a reading every 30 minutes (on the half-hour) between 6am and 10pm and every 60 minutes (on the hour) between 10pm and 6am. If you have noticed errors or do not think the monitor has taken a successful measurement for some time, press the ‘event’ button. This should trigger a manual measurement. Record this in your diary so we know it is a test rather than an ‘event’. Wait to see if the next automatic reading occurs. If it does not, or you are concerned about the functioning of your monitor, please contact the collection centre or our Patient Services Support Centre on (07) 3377 8230 or 1300 020 349 (Monday–Friday: 6.30 am–5 pm, Saturday: 7 am–12 noon AEST) so we can resolve the problem as soon as possible.
If it is after hours and you are certain the monitor is not taking regular measurements successfully, remove the cuff and monitor and return to the collection centre at your scheduled appointment time. Record what occurred in your diary and let the collector know. If there are not enough blood pressure readings for your doctor to make a diagnosis, you may need you to repeat the test.
No, if there is a need for you to repeat the test you will not be charged a second time.