A 28-year-old male asked:
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what is the definition or description of: hypertensive emergency?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Mark Rasak
32 years experience Cardiology
End organ damage: A hypertensive emergancy is when the blood pressure goes up high enough to cause damage to an organ. It can be a bleed in to the brain or eye , a ruptured aorta, or a heart attack. Just to name a few.
Answered on Nov 21, 2013
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Dr. Aruna Adaikkalam
37 years experience Internal Medicine
Hypertensive crises situations 1. Hypertensive urgencies (less severe than HTN emergencies in terms of the BP limits of both systolic and distolic readings 2. Hypertensive emergencies -both have the need of the patients to be evaluated and BP trt.medications are initiated asap , even in the form of drips in addition to pills,patches, iv injections of some of anti HTN meds. The trt is initiated to reduce the BP to reasonable levels so that the end organ damage to brain,heart,kidneys, major blood vessles,eyes resulting in coplications like encephalopathy from brain odema,stroke, acute kidney failure,acute on chronic kidney failure , heart attacks, heart failure - especially when acute left ventricular failure happens leads to pulmonary odema with fluid backlog in lungsand causing significant breathing difficulty to the level of supporting breathing with artificial breathing machine ,dissection of major blood vessles like aorta, as well as dissection of significant Vs like carotid artery causing stroke, coronary artery dissection causing heart attacks, bleeding into eyes from rupture of blood vessels as well as from swelling of the optic nerve and odema causing visusal damage-temporary and if BP is not reduced effectively can end up in peranenet damage to eyesight. Hence prompt seeking of treatment is needed as symptomatology is very vague though patient may not be having significant symptoms. Hence difficult to control BP patients need to always closely followed up by their PCP/cardiologist for periodic check up. Patients also need to follow strict diestary compliance,refrain from smoking. If patient has other problems like DM,vasculitis etc they need to be properly taken care of as they precipitate HTN crises .
Dec 21, 2012
Dr. Adam Kinninger
13 years experience Family Medicine
BP >180/120: Blood pressure greater than or equal to 180/120 with signs of organ impairment such as chest pain, headache, blurry vision, nausea, vomiting, nose bleed, etc.
Answered on Oct 4, 2016

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