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Orthostatic Hypotension

more about Orthostatic Hypotension


  • Orthostatic hypotension is not considered a disease but a failure -- with many causes -- to regulate blood pressure rapidly.
  • It is defined as a too rapid drop in blood pressure precipitated when one stands suddenly, reducing blood flow to the brain, and resulting in fainting.
  • Generally, this is correctable by treating the underlying cause.

  • Weakness, dizziness, fainting or near-fainting, vision disturbance while standing ("everything going black")

  • Usual pediatric causes:
    1. Dehydration
    2. Medication side effect
    3. Disease of the autonomic nervous system -- a rare cause

  • A fall of 20 mm. of mercury or more in the systolic or diastolic pressure, when the patient changes from supine (flat on the back) to standing posture
  • It is necessary to allow time for equilibration, and not measure the blood pressure instantly as soon as the person stands up.

  • Prolonged bed rest
  • Severe exercise
  • Spinal cord disease
  • Adrenal gland disease

  • Correct the underlying condition(s), such as Dehydration.
  • Remove any offending medication known to cause orthostatic hypotension.
  • Protect the patient from Injury when he is about to stand up by having him dangle his feet when first arising from a supine to a sitting position on the side of the bed); and by transferring him from bed to chair without allowing him to stand in between.
  • Correct any anemia that is present.
  • Avoid hot weather.

  • Loss of consciousness if blood flow does not reach the brain in adequate amounts
  • Injury from a fall

  • Contact a physician and seek treatment for the underlying causes.

  • Any serious illness can give the same symptoms




more about Orthostatic Hypotension


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