Blood Pressure Monitor

What is a blood pressure monitor?

A blood pressure monitor displays blood pressure measured from a catheter inserted into an artery. The picture to the right shows an arterial catheter inserted into the radial artery in the wrist. The catheter sends the blood pressure wave back to a bedside monitor, where it is continuously displayed. The blood pressure monitor is one of the most accurate methods for measuring blood pressure. Since the blood pressure monitor requires a catheter in an artery, the nurse may need to help the patient keep the artery still by placing a support (like a board under the wrist) or the use of soft restraints.

When is a blood pressure monitor used?

A blood pressure monitor is used when the patient's blood pressure requires frequent measurement.

Does use of a blood pressure monitor hurt?

The use of the blood pressure monitor does not hurt.

How long is a blood pressure monitor used?

The blood pressure monitor is used as long as the patient's blood pressure needs to be carefully watched.

Are there any potential complications associated with use of a blood pressure monitor?

No. The blood pressure monitor is very reliable and rarely causes problems.

Arterial line (catheter) inserted into an artery in the wrist (radial artery) Blood pressure of 103/67 displayed on a blood pressure monitor