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Managing high blood pressure

Provider news | Monday, July 6, 2020

It’s always important to maintain a healthy blood pressure level, now more than ever. The American Heart Association reports that data from the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China shows a mortality rate of 6% in patients with hypertension compared to the overall mortality rate of about 2%.

To limit the possibility of developing severe complications from COVID-19 due to high blood pressure, ensure that your patients with hypertension:
Have sufficient medication on hand to last several months during the shelter-in-place order. SCFHP members can mail-order a 3-month supply of most maintenance prescription drugs. Visit www.medimpactdirect.com or call 1-855-873-8739.
Limit or avoid blood pressure hazards, for example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), alcohol, caffeine, and herbal supplements such as licorice.
Regularly monitor their blood pressure (BP). Remote monitoring via telehealth reduces hospital readmissions. BP checks are especially important for patients taking corticosteroids, oral birth control, immunosuppressants, mental health drugs, and some cancer medications. Provide your patients with a prescription for a blood pressure monitor. These are covered by SCFHP at no cost.
Follow recommendations on social distancing, hand-washing, and other practices that prevent COVID-19 spread.
Manage stress.
Recognize a blood pressure emergency (readings of 180/120 or greater).

Learn more about coronavirus and heart health at the American Heart Association’s website.

Read more news in the July issue of Provider e-News