Critical Care and Shock

Hypertensive Emergencies: Time for Guidelines

Hypertension remains the “silent killer”. Over 72 million Americans suffer from this condition and it is estimated that as many as 1 billion people worldwide may have it [1]. Critical care clinicians are likely to encounter patients with this malady. Indeed, one percent of patients with essential hypertension (HTN) will develop at some point in their life a hypertensive crisis [2]. What is more concerning, is the fact that the mortality from acute severe HTN remains high. The author participated in a multicenter registry to be published in the next few months. In this registry (studying the treatment of acute hypertension or STAT), an alarming number of patients were readmitted within one month of their initial admission for another hypertensive crisis.

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