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Can Working Too Hard Raise My Blood Pressure?

Wednesday, 05 Jun 2013 09:12 AM

Question: I am a cardiac RN and in good physical condition. But recently, I went to the dentist and on arrival my blood pressure was 221/127. I was very tired and had just worked a 13-hour shift. Could my blood pressure be that high, just from a long workday?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:

Your blood pressure is a serious problem. Even short term bursts of high blood pressure like this can be very damaging to your blood vessels, especially the small vessels of your eyes, brain, and kidneys.
See your doctor tomorrow, then have a blood pressure diary made up, and chart your levels four times a day for the next week. Then take this diary to your doctor in a follow-up visit and decide what further workup would best to correct the problem.
You do not want to end up on dialysis for eight hours a day three days a week, just because you neglected blood pressure control. As a nurse, you know better than to delay consultation for this. You work on a daily basis with the results of neglected blood pressure management, and your condition is a huge risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and renal failure.

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