Hypertensive Crisis




  • Documented hypertension
  • Pregnancy
  • Medications (compliance ?)
  • Related diseases
  • Diabetes
  • CVA
  • Renal failure
  • Cardiac
  • Erectile dysfunction medication
  • Levitra
  • Cialis
  • Viagra


Significant Findings:


One of these

  • Systolic BP >220
  • Diastolic BP >120


AND at least one of these

  • Headache
  • Nosebleed
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness




  • Hypertensive encephalopathy
  • Primary CNS injury
  • Cushing's response (bradycardia with hypertension)
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Aortic dissection/aneurysm
  • Eclampsia/pre-eclampsia






  • Oxygen




  • Initiate IV




  • 12 Lead EKG



Respiratory Distress ?


  • Yes



  • No


Pregnancy ?


  • Yes



  • No


Headache or mental status change ?


  • Yes



  • No





    • Notify receiving facility or contact Medical Control




  • Never treat elevated blood pressure based on one set of vital signs or on vital signs alone.
  • Check blood pressure in both arms.
  • Symptomatic hypertension is typically revealed through end organ damage to the cardiac, central nervous system or renal systems.
  • All symptomatic patients with hypertension should be transported with their head elevated.
  • Consider aortic aneurysm if patient is experiencing severe or dull pain in the abdomen, chest, lower back or groin. Risk factors for aortic aneurysm include male patients (4 of 5 patients are males), greater than 60 years old, smoking, and diabetes.


National Registry Emergency Medical Responder


National Registry EMT-Intermediate


National Registry Emergency Medical Technician


National Registry Paramedic