A new guideline published late last year by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology updated several aging recommendations for emergency physicians into pragmatic advice for treating hypertensive patients in the emergency department.
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“The guideline provides a simple algorithm for hypertensive patients, hypertensive emergencies, and detailed recommendations for complicated scenarios such as what to do with a hypertensive patient having a stroke,” said Philip H. Shayne, MD, FACEP, FACEP, program director of emergency medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, who will present “Severe, Asymptomatic Hypertension: Don’t Just Do Something! Stand There.”
Hypertension is the most common disease seen by emergency physicians. “We probably overtreat it,” Dr. Shayne said. “Although emergency physicians often need to care for hypertensive patients, in many cases physicians should refer these patients to primary care rather than abruptly or acutely treating the condition in the emergency department.”
This educational session will provide a practical approach to the non-urgent, hypertensive patient. “It is incumbent upon any emergency physician to know what the medical specialty expects from us,” Dr. Shayne said. “Our decisions are often scrutinized.” His preceding presentation, “Hypertensive Emergencies: Drugs, Drips, and Drops” at 9 a.m. in room 29A, will focus on the care of the urgent situations.
Dr. Shayne has been presenting and writing about hypertension for 20 years. “Where I practice in the southeastern United States has the highest density of severe hypertension in the country,” he said.