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Hypertension Diagnosed in the Emergency Room

Hypertension is a condition that has received a large share of diagnosis in the emergency room. Formally known as malignant hypertension, a hypertensive emergency is a condition that causes high blood pressure, followed by acute failure of one or more major organs in the body. The major organ systems affected in a hypertensive disorder are the renal organ system, the central nervous systems and the respiratory system. It is possible for these organ systems to suffer irreversible organ damage as a result of this uncontrolled spike in blood pressure.

There are several causes of hypertension. A leading cause of hypertension is obesity. This underlying condition combined with several other factors such as smoking, lack of physical activity and too much salt in the diet increase the chances of developing hypertension. A majority of patients have been noted to have these features present before suffering a hypertension attack. This indicates that certain lifestyles can lead to hypertensive disorder and the medical fraternity is actively advocating against such lifestyles. Patients who change their lifestyle and reduce the risk factors associated with hypertension have experienced dramatic improvement in their overall health and reduced cases of getting hypertension.

Hypertensive emergencies are generally treated with the aid of an antihypertensive agent which lowers the blood pressure, over a period of minutes or hours. When hypertension is diagnosed earlier on, it is possible to prevent organ damage through the administration of antihypertensive agents. It is estimated that with the introduction of antihypertensive agents, hypertensive emergencies declined from 7% to 1% among patients with hypertension.

Hypertensive emergencies comprise of malignant hypertension and accelerated hypertension. Both of them have similar symptoms and diagnostics. Malignant hypertension may be associated with clinical conditions noted in hypertensive emergencies. Patients with malignant hypertension always get retinal papilledema together with flame shaped hemorrhages. These are some of the symptoms that might indicate to a case of hypertensive emergency. When these symptoms are noted, immediate attention and monitoring should be offered to the patient so as to prevent possible organ failure resulting from hypertension emergencies. Other symptoms may include chest pains, epistaxis, dyspnea and severe anxiety.