Hypertension is likely the most comorbid disease you see in the emergency department—but very few people know what to do with severely high numbers in the absence of other problems, said Philip H. Shayne, MD, FACEP, FACEP, program director at Emory University in Atlanta.
Dr. Shayne’s session “Severe, Asymptomatic Hypertension: Don’t Just Do Something: Stand There” will go through strategies on how to manage patients with high blood pressure who don’t seem to have a medical crisis versus patients who do seem to have an acute problem.
“The bottom line is that the [blood pressure] number is rarely a crisis,” Dr. Shayne said. “People get fixated on how high the number is, but it’s really about how the patient is doing. There’s probably more concern for a 90-year-old patient with a blood pressure of 140 and chest pain versus an asymptomatic 35-year-old with a blood pressure of 220. It’s really context and not the number,” said Dr. Shayne, noting that hypertension is still a serious chronic problem.
Dr. Shayne’s session will discuss when to start antihypertensive medications or when to add new ones to a patient’s current regimen, based on results from the latest literature. He also will discuss the danger of overtreating patients. “There’s a balancing act between being concerned but not too aggressive,” he said.
Vanessa Caceres is a freelance medical writer based in Florida.
Raid Fire: Severe, Asymptomatic Hypertension: Don’t Just Do Something: Stand There
Tuesday, Oct. 18
Mandalay Bay Ballroom B