Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


High Blood Pressure Emergency Overview

Another name for High Blood Pressure Emergency is Hypertensive Emergency.

What is a hypertensive emergency?
A person with a hypertensive emergency has damage to the brain, heart, kidneys or eyes, caused by severely elevated blood pressure. In hypertensive urgency, the systolic blood pressure (top number) is over 220 or the diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) is over 115. Hypertensive emergency requires immediate treatment, before it causes permanent damage to the brain, heart, kidneys, or the retina of the eye.

What are the symptoms of a hypertensive emergency?
Symptoms of a hypertensive emergency include a systolic blood pressure that is typically over 220 and a diastolic blood pressure that is over 120. Other symptoms include chest pain, severe headache, shortness of breath, poor balance or coordination, severe weakness, blurry vision, and loss of vision.

How does the doctor treat a hypertensive emergency?
Treatment for a hypertensive emergency includes medications to bring down the blood pressure.

Last Updated: Aug 19, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed High Blood Pressure Emergency References
  1. Kearney PM, Whelton M, Reynolds K, Whelton PK, He J. Worldwide prevalence of hypertension: a systematic review. J Hypertens. 2004 Jan;22(1):11-9. [15106785]
  2. Then KL, Rankin JA. Hypertension: a review for clinicians. Nurs Clin North Am. 2004 Dec;39(4):793-814. [15561162]
  3. Toto RD. Hypertension and kidney literature review 2000. Clin Nephrol. 2002 Oct;58(4):253-9. [12400839]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.