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First Aid for Critically High Blood Pressure

written by: Ms Lisa • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 3/23/2011

Knowing when to administer high blood pressure first aid can be difficult. That is why monitoring high blood pressure is so important. Let us focus on when first aid is needed and what steps to take.

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    High Blood Pressure

    Knowing when high blood pressure first aid is needed is the key. High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because often more than not there are no symptoms until it is too late. A person can feel fine one minute and then be in a hypertensive crisis the next. This can take place within minutes to hours.

    A person that has high blood pressure or has a history of high blood pressure needs to be monitored closely under a doctor’s care. This is because a blood pressure reading above the dangerous range of a systolic of 160 or higher and a diastolic of 100 will be the first sign of a serious problem.

    When blood pressure stays above the category of 160/100 for too long, complications can arise. It is critical that the person seek medical attention and be treated by a professional when those blood pressure readings are not coming down because they can experience complications such as a stroke or heart attack, which can be fatal.

    It is important to mention that it is best to seek professional medical help before symptoms arise so that the complications mentioned do not take place. This is because when blood pressure reaches a point that is critically high it can be damaging to vital organs.

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    Symptoms

    The following are symptoms of a hypertensive emergency. It is important to be aware of these symptoms, and do not delay getting medical attention when they happen. That is the first step in the first aid process.

    Headache

    Seizure

    Chest pain

    Shortness of breath

    Swelling of the hands, feet and or face

    Unconsciousness

    If a person stops breathing before they reach professional help, then it will be necessary to administer CPR until medically trained professionals can take over.

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    Treatment

    Treatment depends on if the person reached medical help before complications have had a chance to take place. If no complications, the high blood pressure first aid will then take place in the emergency room. The blood pressure can be brought under control with the proper medications.

    The physician may admit the person to the hospital for further observation and take precautions to prevent complications of this condition.

    If the person has complications, then the treatment will take place in an intensive care unit.

    Complications are normally a stroke (bleeding in the brain) or heart attack. They also may experience further organ damage because of the complications.

    The treatment they receive will depend on what condition that the high blood pressure has caused. The person will receive treatment that only the trained medical professionals are qualified to give.

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    On a Special Note

    It is important to note that in some conditions, only medical personnel can give first aid. That is why closely monitoring for high blood pressure is so important. It is also important to note that if a person is taking medication for high blood pressure that they continue to do so regardless of how they feel.

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