In An Emergency How Does One Raise Their Blood Pressure When It Drops Too Low?

Question

Asked by bobbymic

In An Emergency How Does One Raise Their Blood Pressure When It Drops Too Low?

Answer

bobbymic,

Thanks for your question.

In an emergency room setting, there are several things that can be done. First, intravenous fluids can be given which will increase blood volume and raise blood pressure. Medications can be given to raise blood pressure. And of course correcting the problem that is causing the low pressure will help reverse the situation.

In the field, the most important thing to do is maintain blood pressure and blood flow to the brain. The first thing to do is lay the person down on the ground. This does two things: it helps restore blood flow to the brain, as well prevent the possibility of the patient falling, should they pass out. If a patient loses consciousness while lying down, they have no where to fall. If possible, raise the person's legs, this will add more blood to the system and, again, help maintain blood flow to the brain.

Next, look for causes of the low blood pressure. If there is any bleeding, apply pressure to the site with the cleanest cloth available. If nothing is available, use your hands directly on the wound. Always check the person's breathing and if there is some difficulty, check the mouth and airway for any obstruction. Check for a pulse in the neck. If there is not pulse or breathing, and the patient is unresponsive, then CPR should be initiated. Tell someone to call 911 and ask loudly if anyone else knows CPR and can assist you.

I hope this has been helpful.

Martin Cane, M.D.