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Patient education: High blood pressure emergencies (The Basics)

What is a high blood pressure emergency?A high blood pressure emergency is a serious – and even life-threatening – condition that can happen when a person's blood pressure gets much higher than normal. When a person's blood pressure gets very high, it can lead to problems in one or more of the following organs:

●Eyes – Problems can include bleeding in the back of the eye, or swelling of the nerve that runs from the eye to the brain.

●Brain – Problems can include swelling or bleeding in the brain, or a stroke. A stroke is when a part of the brain is damaged because of a problem with blood flow.

●Kidneys – Very high blood pressure can lead to kidney failure, which is when the kidneys stop working.