Temporary elevation in Blood Pressure and an ECG

Posted , 2 users are following.

I had to have an ecg on Monday as a pre op assessment.  My blood pressure was taken, and it was higher than normal.  I was stressed because I had been "bullied" by the physiotherapist, who was the second person I saw.  The last was the nurse who did the ecg.  The clinic called me this morning to tell me that the reading was abnormal, and they me to have an echocardiogram.  When I mentioned to another person from the same team, that I had an ecg on December 10, last year and it was normal, they changed tack and said they would accept another ecg from my medical practice, who had done the ecg in December, and would compare the two results, and then see what the anaesthetist wanted to do.  A cardiologist was not mentioned.

Needless to say, I am in total shock as the op is scheuled for April 4, and I have always been very healthy.

Wondering if anyone else has been caught in this situation, and what the outcome was.

My blood pressure does tend to respond to stress by elevating, but I have been monitoring it today, and it is perfectly normal again.

0 likes, 15 replies

15 Replies

  • Posted

    Stressful situations can make blood pressure rocket. I always wish that if they were going to take BP, the doctors/hospital would do that immediately. Instead of keep you wiating for 20 minutes whilst mind thinks about all the negatives things that could happen.

    I would ask them what is wrong with your ECG, you have a right to know, even if they don't like explaining it to patients. You may find that it was inconclusive and they're going to run the other test for simplicity.

    You're obviously not used to hospitals and the way they work. Patients get in the way of their day to day work. Also, expect to have to ask about everything, don' think they're going to explain it to you, because they're not, you're just the patient.

    I'm not being flippant, in the last 18 months, I have spent nearly two months in hospital and so many outpatient appontments, between four different hospitals. I'm used to it now, and I always open my mouth and question things. I know that is not easy for everyone, but try what you can.

    • Posted

      Many thanks for your feedback.  I have had an awful day worrying about this.  The problem has been that the information was delivered early morning, and I was told that I need an echo.  However, when I told anotherperson in pre op assessment that my ecg taken onn December 10, 2015 was normal, they said that they would accept another ecg from the surgery, and then compare the readings.

      One of the people I spoke with about this at the clinic was rather churlish and accusatory because I had called earlier and spoken to another person about arranging transportation home post op, and then had to speak to her again, when I remembered that I had a normal ecg just three months previously.

      In general they are quite good people, but two of them were dreedful, particularly the physio that I saw before the nurse spoke with me and did the ecg at the very end of the session.  I was still upset from the encounter with the bullying physio and I noticed that my BP reading was higher than normal.  Not surprising! 

      The clinic has indicated that if I have to have an echo at an RUH, it will delay surgery for months because the appointments are all clogged up!

    • Posted

      Forgot to mention that what they found was "right bundle branch block".  Understand this is farily common, and looking at the causes, I do not see anything that I can relate to unless I have had a heart attack that I don't remember!  I have had two ecgs, one in San Francisco in 1987 and the other that I mentioned last year.  So far as I know they were both normal.  Thirty years is a long gap though.
    • Posted

      I've only had the one ECG and that was 20 years ago and fine. You'll have to way up having the echo against the op delay, it's a judgement call.

      Please don't worry about offish medical staff, for some, patients just get in the way of their work. As I said, I've had my eyes opned up in the last 18 months, having seen so many consultants as an inpatient or outpatient.

      They gave me a blood plasma transfusion without mine or my wife's consent. They did a gene cancer test on me without my consent. They detoxed me for alcohol when I went in for my stroke, but never told me. They stuck a catheter on me and gave me an enema, but never told me why. During that time, I was too ill to argue or fight with them.

      Most of the stuff I found out by accident much later, by requesting copies of reports, from consultants. Don't get me wrong, they are a lot of nice staff, but you have to be prepared to hold your own when you get the off hand ones.

      Try not to let it stress you, it is not good for your wellbeing. Try to be more assertive when confronted by abrupt staff, no matter what their position. The unfortunate thing is, it is the way the NHS is run today, like most things, no one ever has time to do a job properly, so they cut corners.

      Buy yourself a BP monitor and do it at home, when you are under normal circumstances. Most GPs are encouraging people to take home readings, as they are more realistic than GP surgery or hospital readings.

    • Posted

      Good Morning:

      Very interesting info, and exactly what I expected to hear.

      I have been monitoring my blood pressure for years.  When I was at the clinic for the pre op,  found that the climate conrol was unbearable - they over heat and do not ventilate.  I am very fair skinned and tmy skin is quite fine, so in a situation where I am sitting in a controlled environment for, at this point, over 2 1/2 hours, my face had flushed to the point where I looked like an over ripe strawberry.  My blood pressure was taken just before the ecg.  I asked the nrust was it was, and she mumbled somehing about 000/86.  This is highly abnormal for me.  I checked it yesterday at home, and it was  150/80 - feeling stressed, 125/75, still stressed, and then this morning at 7:30 a.m., 127/73, which is much closer to my usual readings.  Pulse rates were 76, 80 and 71 this a.m!  So, there you go.  I hae researched the condition, and they give five potential causes:  genetic (hole in the heart), myocardial infarction, infection, HYPERTENSION! and finally PULMONARY EMOBLISM!  The web sites state that this condtion is picked as "incidental" in an ecg.  The staff member who delivered the information, advised that the echo wold take months for an appointment, thus prolonging my hip replacement, and of course, the knock on effect it is going to have on what I have already set up, which will have to be cancelled.  The clinic stated that the condition was not life threatening and nothing to worry about!

      My GP has scheduled another ecg for me this morning, so we shall see how that come out.  As I said yesterday, i do not relate to any of the causes above, other than possible heart attack, that passed unnoticed ( could have been dismissed as indigeston, for example).   

      For the most part, I did find that the staff I encountered on Monday were friendly and cooperative.  The physiotherapist upset the apple cart with her pushiness and bullying, and that, combined with my physical discomfort did not help matters at all.  Why they leave these important tests to the end of the day when a patient is exhausted, somewhat exasperated, and in my case, hungry, I have no idea.  Then we have to go through the ordeal of stripping down for a lung exray!

      Anyway, they have accepted that the ecg taken on December 10, last year, that was normal, should be compared with the ecg today, and the anaesthetist "will decide what he wants to do!"  The surgery will be done with a spinal block and sedation and no general anaesthesia.  The word "cardiologist" had suddenly disappeared from the conversation.

      Will keep the situation posted.


  • Posted

    Hello susie so do you take medication for your blood pressure? its called white coat syndrome where blood pressure rises in medical establishments a very common  condition  good luck 
    • Posted

      Good Morning, Helen:

      I do not have hypertension, that's the whole point!  As I have said, I wass in very uncomfortble surrouding - central heating and no entilation to which I am "allergic."  An aggressive physiotherapist who saw me before the tests were taken, ie.e BP and ecg, amongst others, and had been sitting there in my outdoor coat, because no one had invied me to remove it.  I was over heated, and my BP reading, "at the time" had elvated in  response to the stress.  I have been monitoring my BP for several years.  My GP is happy with my readings, and they are normal as is my pulse rate.  I have my own kit.

      I am very familiar with white coat syndrome, but three and a half hours or pre op assessment with only a glass of water will reduce anyone to zero.

      I was seen by three people, the occupational therapist, the physiotherapist, who bullied and stressed me and then the nurse, who took the final battery of tests, followed by a trek down four flights of stairs with a bad hip to have a lung exray!


    • Posted

      ok that expalins it all then and stress would explain the heart ecg thing aswell.......... hope it all turns out good for you and your op. 
    • Posted

      Hi Helen:

      Spoke to my GP about an hour ago.  She states tha t all three ecgs are now in the hands of the cardiologist and the anaesthetist.  They will decide if I need an echo, or whether the surgery can go ahead.  It is right side, which is not as serious as left, anyway.  Apparently I can have the echo done locally and faster than I had beenlead to believe by he clinic.  GP can do nothing further until the feedback comes back from the two specialists.

      It's now just another waiting game - probably next week, now!

  • Posted


    Five days after having been delivered the news that I had been found to have RBBB, I have been given the following information:  It is very common, and 100s of people have it.  Mostly, it is benign, but I cannot have anaethesia without undergoing an echocardiogram - reason:  to look for possible underlying causes.  (Could this also be an insurance issue?)  

    Since having received this information, I have been monitoring my own blood pressure and symptoms. I have done this in the past, too, and have looked at some of last year's readings as comparisons.  BP and pulse rate are highly erratic.  Woke last night after an anxiety driven bad dream and monitored BP, which was abnormally high.  Went back to sleep about 30 minutes later, and when I awoke in the morning, took BP first thing - diastolic still high.  Diastolic readings are higher than they should be, pulse rate seems average, but it fluctuates.

    Continue to have the "fluttery" feelings in my chest.  This is very common for me, after receiving a shock, or when in situations of high emotion.  But the question is, should I still be feeling these symptoms almost a week after receiving the RBBB information?

    My GP is away this week, but before she went on leave, she made the referral for the echocardiogram, which came through yesterday - a month from yesterday!  Surgery cancelled, and I have to live in a state of anxiety about the condition of my heart for the next four weeks, which is not going to do me much good, is it....!

    Wondering if others on the Forum have had similar experiences, and what the outcomes were?

    • Posted

      It won't be insurance, it will be SOP and they have to go through certain processes. If they don't do that, they are open to legal action if something goes wrong.

      They also probably want to be 100% sure of what they are dealing with before they operate.

      Yes, I know it is hard not to worry, but stress only makes you worse. Try to put it to the back of your mind. They didn't tell me most of the things they did in hospital for the two months I was there and no one ever explained what the eight medications I take were for, I had to research it all myself.

    • Posted

      Yes, I know.  Symptoms are receding, slowly...  I did meditate this afternoon, and I helped a lot.  Problem is that if I am stressed, I am too stressed to meditate, and if I don't meditate, I am stressed....  Bit of a circus, really.

      Part of the problem is that hospital staff do not have the time ro give information, they just deliver the news, and utter reassurances, that my or may not be hollow...!

      Will be buying some minerals and some vitamin B12, just to give myself a bit of a boost.

    • Posted

      Thanks for the feedback, it is reassuring.  But, I do not undersand the meaning of SOP?


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