How can you monitor blood pressure continuously?
Continuous monitoring of blood pressure will require insertion of a cannula (a small tube) into an artery. This is usually done only in an intensive care set up or in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory during procedures. It may also be done during major surgeries in which large shift of fluids / blood loss are anticipated. The cannula inserted in the artery is connected to a transducer which converts the pressure waves into electrical waves for display in a monitor. Intermittent blood pressure monitoring is feasible with ambulatory blood pressure monitors, which can be worn for 24 hours. This is non-invasive and does not need insertion of a cannula. Non-invasive blood pressure monitoring using automatically inflatable cuffs are also commonly done in intensive care units.