“Time To Check Vitals”

It is now 7:35 PM on this Friday night and things are crazy. Over the P.A., the words came out, “Time to Check Vitals.” In walks Hubert to the operations office. I was at my desk and the First Responder came into my office and said “Sean, Hubert’s Blood Pressure is at 183 over 114.” I told Chris, the Public Safety Officer who is also a first responder to take the Blood Pressure (BP) in the other arm and come back and tell me what it is. It was even a little higher. I told Hubert that he had to go to the ER and he said he did not want to go as of yet because he did not take his night time meds yet. We asked him to reconsider because he already had one stroke and that is how he ended up homeless and became a resident of the Homeless Voice Shelter. I then said “fine,” we will take your BP again in one hour after your meds get into your system. His BP was fine in the early AM so we agreed. Then about one hour later Joe, the Public Safety Officer now on duty who is also a first responder came in to my office and said “Sean his BP is now 191 over 123,” which meant his BP was climbing. He also told me that he was calling 911 and I told Hubert we were calling them and they need to tell him if he needs to go to the hospital or not. They then responded and took him to the hospital.
As EMS was in route both PSO’s, (our Public Safety Officers) decided that we would put Hubert on our Vitals Monitor Program knows as the VMP four times a day instead of the two times a day we had him on. We then emailed the Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse that monitors and treats Hubert’s health in case they wanted to alter his BP Meds. They have done a great job of getting is High Blood pressure down but then again like all BP meds they need to be adjusted every now and then. His old Blood Pressure always used to be high. It was in the 200’s many times. We have this suspicion that Hubert is not always
taking his BP meds or perhaps he’s using too much salt.
In the homeless population there is a tendency for High Blood Pressure. When we take our Ambulance out to do outreach we check the BP of the homeless on the street and in some cases if we have the proper staff a prescription can be written and then taken to the local CVS to get it filled. We try real hard to get them to go to the ER but in the chronic population it is hard to sometimes convince them to go to the emergency room. We also educate our overweight population about the risk of high blood pressure. Sometimes I have to remind myself and advice myself it is time to diet. Then for our African American Population we let them know that there is a good chance they may have high BP because they are predisposed to that condition.
By the way if you are reading this story and you have not had your blood pressure checked get up and go to CVS and take your BP for free. You should also monitor your BP at least one time a month if you are not in a high risk group. If you have high BP or other risk factors that puts you in the high risk category then weekly BP checks should be done.