Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
Simple steps on how to take your blood pressure reading:
There are a few simple steps that you can follow to be sure that you get an accurate reading of your blood pressure.
- Do not measure your blood pressure within 30 minutes of drinking caffeine or smoking: This can make your blood pressure rise for a short time, giving an inaccurate reading.
- Always use the same arm for blood pressure readings: As each arm will give you a slightly different reading. If possible, use the arm that your midwife uses when measuring your blood pressure.
- Before you take your readings, rest for five minutes:
Make sure you are relaxed and comfortable. If you are anxious or uncomfortable, this will make your blood pressure rise temporarily.
You should be sitting down in a quiet place, preferably at a desk or table, with your arm resting on a firm surface and your feet flat on the floor. Wear loose-fitting clothes so that you can push your sleeve up comfortably.
- Make sure your arm is supported and that the cuff around your arm is at the same level as your heart: You may need to support your arm with a cushion to be sure it is at the correct height. Your arm should be relaxed, not tensed.
- Put the cuff on your arm following the instructions that came with your monitor and as you were shown in the Day Unit: When you are taking your reading, keep still and quiet. Moving and talking can affect your reading. Turn the monitor on by pushing the button. Inflate the cuff by using the hand pump until it beeps to stop.
As the cuff deflates, your blood pressure will be recorded and the machine will display the measurement for you.
- Take your blood pressure between 9am and 1pm: If you can, take it at the same time every day you need to. If you are asked to contact the hospital, please do so as soon as possible.
- Text in your reading when reminded.
Do not check your blood pressure too often – you may become worried or stressed about small changes in your readings.
Contact the Day Unit for further advice if you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Severe headaches
- Upper epigastric pain (between your ribs, above your tummy)
- Visual disturbances
- Sudden swelling of feet, face and hands
- Sudden onset of vomiting
Simple steps on how to measure your urine for protein:
There are a few simple steps that you can follow to be sure that you get an accurate reading of your urine.
- A urine test should be performed on a fresh sample of urine.
- It should be a mid-stream specimen of urine that is used for testing.
- Wash yourself thoroughly to make sure there is no risk of contamination.
- Pass a small amount of urine into the toilet and then catch a sample of urine in the container given to you by the Day Unit midwife, allowing the rest of your urine to pass into the toilet.
- Once you have finished passing urine, place one dipstick into the container so that the coloured part of the dipstick comes into contact with the urine and then remove.
- To ensure accurate testing, you should wait the identified time intervals given. This can range from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
- The small pad on the dipstick will change colour, according to how much protein you have in your urine.
- Your urine protein results are seen by comparing the colour on your dipstick, to the coloured chart on the side of the dipstick container. This shows the level of protein in your urine depending on the colour change that occurred.
- When you have compared the colours you will be asked to text this protein (P) result to Telehealth, text either P0, P1, P2 or P3, along with your blood pressure.
Please keep your urine dipsticks safe and dry in the container with the lid on when not in use.
|Urine stick||Text to Telehealth|
|30 / +||P1|
|100 / ++||P2|
Days when you need to take your Blood Pressure (please circle):
Health Care Team Contact Details
University Hospital North Tees
University Hospital Hartlepool
Out of Hours / Weekends contact Labour Ward on 01642 382718
In an Emergency call 999.
This information was correct at the time of printing. While the Trust makes every reasonable effort to keep its information leaflets up to date, very recent changes may not yet be reflected in the guidance and you should discuss this with the clinical staff at the time of your appointment.
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these policies and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet reference: PIL1233
Date for review: 18/09/2023