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What causes sudden drops in blood pressure?

ANSWER

Sudden drops in blood pressure can be life-threatening. Causes of this type of hypotension include:

  • Loss of blood from bleeding
  • Low body temperature
  • High body temperature
  • Heart muscle disease causing heart failure
  • Sepsis, a severe blood infection
  • Severe dehydration from vomiting, diarrhea, or fever
  • A reaction to medication or alcohol
  • A severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis that causes an irregular heartbeat

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Low Blood Pressure."

Ferri, F. Mosby, 2012. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012

FDA: "Midodrine Update: February 8, 2012."

Thaisetthawatkul P. 2004. Neurology

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: "What Is Hypotension?"

Libby, P and Bonow, R. , Saunders, 2007. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on February 20, 2017

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Low Blood Pressure."

Ferri, F. Mosby, 2012. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012

FDA: "Midodrine Update: February 8, 2012."

Thaisetthawatkul P. 2004. Neurology

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: "What Is Hypotension?"

Libby, P and Bonow, R. , Saunders, 2007. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on February 20, 2017

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Who can get postural hypotension?

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