A hypertension emergency is a condition when blood pressure spikes too high suddenly. Hypertension emergencies are medical emergencies that require immediate treatment because they can lead to fatal complications.
Hypertensive emergencies usually occur as a result of untreated high blood pressure or that is not routinely controlled with medication. A person is said to have a hypertensive emergency if his systolic blood pressure is more than 180 mmHg and his diastolic blood pressure is more than 120 mmHg.
If left untreated, hypertensive emergencies can cause severe damage to the body's organs. Some of the organ damage associated with hypertensive emergencies are stroke, heart failure, kidney damage, pulmonary edema, heart attack. aneurysms and eclampsia in pregnant women.
Symptoms of Hypertension Emergency You Need to Know
Hypertensive emergencies can sometimes go unnoticed because they do not cause symptoms. However, if there is organ damage, some of the symptoms that may appear are:
- Changes in vision
- Chest pain
- Hard to breathe
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling or accumulation of fluid in body tissues
- Numbness or weakness of the limbs
Hypertensive emergencies can also cause encephalopathy or more precisely hypertensive encephalopathy. In this condition, blood pressure that is so high affects brain function directly and causes several symptoms, such as:
- Very heavy headache
- Blurred vision
- Mental changes such as confusion
- Loss of consciousness
Steps for Handling Hypertension Emergency
Hypertensive emergency patients need to be hospitalized for treatment and close medical monitoring. Steps for handling a hypertension emergency include:
- Examination of physical conditions, including blood pressure, and other investigations, such as blood tests and urine tests, to evaluate the overall condition of patients with hypertension emergencies
- Administration of drugs in the form of injections or infusions, such as sodium nitroprusside, labetalol, nicardipine, fenoldopam, and clevidipine, which are focused on achieving target blood pressure within 24-48 hours, to prevent more severe organ damage
- Administration of oral antihypertensive drugs to control blood pressure, in the treatment room or at home, after blood pressure stabilizes
- Provision of vital function aids if the patient has severe organ damage, such as a breathing apparatus for patients with respiratory failure
Hypertension emergencies can be fatal and are not a condition to be taken lightly. Therefore, preventing this from happening is more important than dealing with it. The trick is to monitor your blood pressure regularly, at least once a year.
If you have a history of high blood pressure, take the medicine given by your doctor regularly even if you feel healthy. Remember, hypertensive emergencies can occur without symptoms.
In addition, check with the doctor regularly according to the specified schedule. If at any time you experience symptoms of a hypertension emergency, immediately go to the nearest hospital for proper treatment.