Ask The Nurse; When Should I Be Concerned About My Blood Pressure? When Should I Call 911 For High Blood Pressure?

January 31, 2020

Elevated Blood Pressure may or may not be accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms. Severe headache, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, or anxiety. There are two types of hypertensive crises.

Hypertensive Urgency: If your Blood Pressure is 180/120 or greater, wait 5 minutes and retake it. If it remains high and you are NOT experiencing any other symptoms, this would be considered urgency. Notify your Doctor. He or She may adjust or add medications but rarely requires an Emergency Room visit or hospital stay.

Hypertensive Emergency: If your Blood Pressure is 180/120 or greater and you ARE having other symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, change in vision or difficulty speaking, this would be considered a hypertensive emergency. DO NOT wait to see if your blood pressure comes down; Call 911.

Track your blood pressures if you are having difficulties or have had a medication change. Take these logs to the Doctor with you.

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