Continuing Education Activity
Orthostatic hypotension is defined as a sudden drop in blood pressure upon standing from a sitting or supine position. Clinically, this is diagnosed by a sustained reduction in systolic blood pressure of at least 20 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure of 10 mmHg within three minutes of standing after being supine for five minutes or at a 60-degree angle on the tilt table. This sudden drop in blood pressure is usually secondary to failure of autonomic reflex, volume depletion, or adverse reaction to a medication. Symptoms on presentation are commonly related to cerebral hypoperfusion, but patients can also be asymptomatic. There also is a high rate of morbidity and mortality related to this disease process due to frequent falls, which can lead to multiple hospital admissions. This activity reviews the etiology, presentation, evaluation, and management of orthostatic hypotension and reviews the role of the interprofessional team in evaluating, diagnosing, and managing the condition.
- Identify the various etiologies of orthostatic hypotension, both extrinsic and intrinsic.
- Summarize the elements of a good history and physical, as well as the overall evaluation of a patient who presents with possible orthostatic hypotension.
- Review management options available for orthostatic hypotensioin, based on the specific etiology.
- Outline interprofessional team strategies for improving care coordination and communication to improve outcomes in patients presenting with orthostatic hypotension.