If you have high blood pressure, it’s a good idea to have a BP (blood pressure) monitor at home. At Rothschild House Group we are encouraging our patients to buy one of these if they don’t already have one.
Over the last year many treatment reviews have taken place over the telephone. This has helped to keep our patients and our staff safe during the COVID 19 pandemic. If you have high blood pressure you will need a review each year which will always include a blood pressure check. If your blood pressure is not in a good range we will want to check you more often. This is because having high blood pressure can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
If you have a BP monitor at home, you can tell us your results, which helps us to see if your treatment is working well for you. Taking your own BP at home can give a better reflection of your blood pressure, as being tested in somewhere like a GP surgery can make you feel anxious and can affect the result. It can also allow you to monitor your condition more easily in the long term.
You can buy a variety of low-cost monitors so you can test your blood pressure at home or while you’re out and about.
It’s important to make sure you use equipment that has been properly tested. The British Hypertension Society (BHS) has information about validated blood pressure monitors you can buy.
How to check your blood pressure at home:
Take your blood pressure only when you are resting and feeling relaxed.
Sit upright in a chair with your legs uncrossed and your feet flat on the floor.
Your arm should be rested on a table ideally.
Put the cuff on your upper arm, with the tube leading down the centre of the arm. You will be able to see a picture of this in the manual. Make sure it fits well, snug to the arm with space to slide two fingertips underneath. Most monitors come with a medium sized cuff, and you might need to buy a separate cuff if it doesn’t fit.
Press the start button and continue to relax, without talking. The cuff will inflate and it might feel tight for a few moments. It will then deflate. If it feels too uncomfortable just press the stop button so it deflates quickly.
The monitor will show your reading. Take a note of your blood pressure reading and your pulse rate too.
It is best to check your blood pressure three times in a row and keep a record of the lowest reading. Use a diary for this so it is easy to keep track of. Alternatively, some BP monitors have “memory” and can store a few of your results for you.
Your GP may ask you to send in one most recent BP reading. Or your GP might ask you for a set of BP readings, to get an even better guide to your blood pressure. To do this it is best to note down your BP in the morning and evening for 3-4 days.
If you have been asked to send us your blood pressure, you can complete the Blood Pressure Review form online. We will check your readings and get in touch with you if we need to review your medication.
This will likely be 1-2 weeks after receiving your BP readings.
As we will not be contacting anyone urgently, please contact the practice by phone if you have any worries about your health.