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Hypertensive emergency refers to a spike in blood pressure to dangerously high levels, specifically above 180/120 mm Hg, associated with signs of acute end-organ damage. Signs of end-organ damage may include severe headache, blurred vision, nosebleeds, vomiting, cardiac symptoms, hematuria, etc. This is an emergency because it can damage the heart, brain, and other vital organs. Hypertensive emergencies should be treated quickly and carefully to prevent complications including sudden death.
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