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Can someone "dumb down" blood pressure for me?

Posted

Specializes in Developmental Disabilities, LTC. Has 4 years experience.

I'm done with school, I've been at my 1st nursing job for about 6 months & I'm embarrassed to say that I just don't "get" blood pressure. Every time I go back to my text books to refresh, the words just don't click to me.

I know how to assess it, I kinda got a grasp on some nursing intervention for low/high BPs, but other than that...

-What's the difference between systolic/diastolic? i.e., what does it mean if the systolic is low or when the diastolic is low? What if one's a lot higher than it's supposed to be?

I know I should know this & I'm embarrassed to have to ask, so thanks for any input:chair:

loricatus

Specializes in ED, ICU, PACU.

Not sure what you are asking; but, I'll give it a shot.

Systolic is the force generated by the heartbeat-how much pressure is made by the pumping of the blood throughout the body.

Diastolic is the relaxation part-how much pressure remains in the system at rest.

When systolic is low, it means that there isn't enough circulation (easiest way to try and explain it), so there is a risk of inadequate perfusion and subsequently not enough oxygenation of tissues (especially the brain).

When diastolic is low, it can indicate that the vasculature has opened up and isn't exerting the pressure needed to get the blood back to the heart and thus be repumped. This can be especially be seen is forms of shock and would need pressors to help clamp down on the vasculator to allow for continued circulation.

Another problem is when diastolic is high. This means that there is no relaxation of the vasculature and constant high pressure is being put upon the entire system. This can lead to vessel ruptures (aneurysms, CVA, etc), kidney dsyfunction...

Is this the type of answer you were looking for?

Nascar nurse, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC & Hospice. Has 35 years experience.

I always kind of relate it as I would life.. systolic (as in most working moms)- the vessels are under pressure.. thats what gets the job done.. but too much and something's going to to be in trouble soon. Not enough, and well the job is just not getting done right!

Diastolic: Is like that working mom w/ a couple days off - relaxation at last, but you still got to keep some pressure to get the little things done. If the pressure is to high your going to burn out quick, but is can't go to zero pressure either.

Silly yes, but it has helped me teach others in the past.

loricatus, that is an excellent summary I think, thats exactly how I understand it in my head, but would never have been able to put it into words:up:

Nascar nurse - good analogy, and funny to boot!

CorrectionalNP

Specializes in Family Practice.

Long Term Effects of High Blood Pressure:

It's called End Organ Damage. Basically it is the Brain, Eyes, Kidneys, Liver, Heart, Vasculature, etc.

A Blood Pressure of 80/40 would allow you to live to about 120 years old.

pagandeva2000, LPN

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

Not sure what you are asking; but, I'll give it a shot.

Systolic is the force generated by the heartbeat-how much pressure is made by the pumping of the blood throughout the body.

Diastolic is the relaxation part-how much pressure remains in the system at rest.

When systolic is low, it means that there isn't enough circulation (easiest way to try and explain it), so there is a risk of inadequate perfusion and subsequently not enough oxygenation of tissues (especially the brain).

When diastolic is low, it can indicate that the vasculature has opened up and isn't exerting the pressure needed to get the blood back to the heart and thus be repumped. This can be especially be seen is forms of shock and would need pressors to help clamp down on the vasculator to allow for continued circulation.

Another problem is when diastolic is high. This means that there is no relaxation of the vasculature and constant high pressure is being put upon the entire system. This can lead to vessel ruptures (aneurysms, CVA, etc), kidney dsyfunction...

Is this the type of answer you were looking for?

:yeah::yeah::up: Bravo!!! Wonderfully explained! In fact, I am going to make a copy of your explanation for my own use!!:yeah::yeah::D

pagandeva2000, LPN

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

I always kind of relate it as I would life.. systolic (as in most working moms)- the vessels are under pressure.. thats what gets the job done.. but too much and something's going to to be in trouble soon. Not enough, and well the job is just not getting done right!

Diastolic: Is like that working mom w/ a couple days off - relaxation at last, but you still got to keep some pressure to get the little things done. If the pressure is to high your going to burn out quick, but is can't go to zero pressure either.

Silly yes, but it has helped me teach others in the past.

I'm feeling the analogy, too!:redpinkhe:yeah:

pagandeva2000, LPN

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

One thing that may be helpful for you is to purchase "Hypertension for Dummies." Seriously...this is not an insult. I SWEAR by those "Complete Idiot Guides" and "Dummies" books because they give wonderful scenerios explaining complicated information for the layperson without losing it's meaning.

I purchased "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Type 2 Diabetes" and believe it or not, not only did I read it cover to cover, but use the majority of it in my patient teaching, because I totally comprehended a great deal of it, and I also recommend it to many patients. Many of these books have excellent bibliographies for further reading as well.

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