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unstable blood pressure

Posted by Betsy B. Facebook

My dad is hypertensive. One time he has a fever and we send him to the hospital. The problem is he is having a 80/60 blood pressure and sometimes 110/80. The doctors attending to him is still studying what is the cause of his unstable blood pressure. I want to know what are the possible causes of this problem?
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Hmmm . . . I'm not so sure his blood pressure is unstable per se.  Hypertension is high blood pressure, at least twice >140/90mm Hg w/normal <120/80mm Hg.  Infection spreading throughout the body can lead to a systemic reaction called sepsis which can manifest itself as low blood pressure such as you reported.  This is an emergency since low blood pressure indicates that not enough blood is flowing where it needs to go.  The typical response, while looking for the source of infection, is to offer antibiotics.  


If your father didn't have a fever when his blood pressure was reported to be abnormally low, I would wonder about dehydration or loss of blood.  Improper technique could also give off an abnormally low reading, too.


There are a few situations/diseases whereby blood pressure changes abruptly.  Pheochromocytoma is a tumor of the adrenal gland that causes release of adrenaline which then leads to a dramatic but temporary increase in blood pressure.  It's also possible to have differences in blood vessel stiffness such that blood pressure is very different comparing one arm to the other which could then be mislabeled as unstable.


Best to have your dad's father evaluate him in detail.  Good luck! 

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