Free BP Monitor
The update on the Canadian Hypertension Education Program recommendations noted the errors we so commonly commit when we base treatment decisions on office blood pressure (BP) readings.
For many years I marvelled at the fact that patients I referred for ambulatory BP monitoring—only my most difficult patients to control—often turned out to have normal BP.
In recent years, I have encouraged patients to buy their own BP cuffs and to keep diaries of readings at various times of the day. It is irresponsible to over-treat someone who presents to me with a near-perfect record.
Thus I encourage provincial health plans to provide home BP cuffs free for appropriate patients. The modest cost would be redeemed within a few weeks if expensive drugs are not prescribed, and we would have fewer edematous, coughing, and exhausted patients in our practices.
1. Canadian Hypertension Education Program. 2009 Canadian Hypertension Education Program recommendations. An annual update. Can Fam Physician. 2009;55:697–700.