June Blog Entry is finally here! June's Blog will highlight Men's Health Month
By Betty Braxter | June 27, 2015
Men's Health Month
June is Men's Health Month with the focus on: Awareness, Prevention, Education and Family. A few facts about Men's Health:
• "Wear Blue" is the color linked to a Men's Health Month Event
• Men are less likely than women to visit a health care provider compared to women
• On average men die about five years earlier than women
To celebrate Men's Health Month, we have as a guest blogger a male acute care nurse to provide health tips to specifically African American males. Our blogger is a baccalaureate prepared registered nurse clinician working in an acute care setting, Quentin Smith, BSN, RN, CCRN.
By Quentin Smith | June 30, 2015
Black Men's Health Issues in the ICU Setting
As a critical care nurse working within a mid-sized city, I've come across my fair share of illnesses that tend to plague men. I've also come across my fair share of illnesses that tend to plague African American men. For my first blog entry as a guest blogger for PBNIA, I thought I'd address this topic - especially on the heels of black-men's-health month in June. I'd like to take a closer look at:
•The health risk of uncontrolled high blood pressure/hypertension
•A situation you or a loved one may be at risk for which could lead to an ICU admission
•Quick tips to maintain or improve your health by avoiding common pitfalls
Why am I at risk for Hypertensive Crisis (Emergency)?
Hypertensive crisis is often described as a deleterious increase in blood pressure [systolic pressure greater than or equal to 180, or a diastolic pressure 110 or higher], which requires immediate medical evaluation.
Symptoms: Severe headache, shortness of breath, nosebleeds and severe anxiety.
If left untreated: Stroke, Loss of consciousness, memory loss, heart attack, damage to the eye and kidneys, aortic dissection and angina (unstable chest pain)
Most patients who present to the emergency room in hypertensive crisis or the lesser, urgency, will ultimately require management and treatment within the setting of a intensive care unit.
-The epidemiology of hypertension in African Americans is approximately two-fold higher than in their white counterparts.
-The incidence of hypertensive crisis among African American is synonymous to the reported ratio statistics for hypertension, when comparing blacks and whites. In addition, men are affected two times more than women.
-It is widely understood that the inadequacy of primary physician care and antihypertensive medication compliance are the major risk factors for hypertensive emergencies.
Tips: If you notice any of the symptoms described above, seek immediate medical treatment.
To avoid the occurrence of hypertensive crisis:
- Ensure that you're a visiting your primary care provider (PCP) regularly.
- Follow prescribed antihypertensive medication orders and report any side effects to your PCP
- Follow a healthy diet: Limit consumption of salt and alcohol.
- Maintain a healthy weight and stay active.
- Learn to manage and cope with stress via exercise, meditation or mental health counseling.
- Know if any one in your family has a history of hypertension and uncontrolled hypertension.