Hypertensive Emergency Overview
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.
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