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whitetigress's avatar

How do you die from low blood pressure?

Asked by whitetigress (3129points) December 16th, 2011

How does low blood pressure occur?

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6 Answers

Mariah's avatar

Lots of things can make your blood pressure drop. One I know about is septic shock. Your blood pressure plummets (I’m not sure exactly why) and there’s risk of organs shutting down. My conjecture as to why a drop in blood pressure harms your organs is that without enough blood pressure, blood can’t be pumped successfully and probably organs die of oxygen deprivation. I’m sure there are other jellies more knowledgable than me on this who can give you more info.

Coloma's avatar


I think you just about covered it. If ones blood pressure is too low there is not enough supply to keep the heart and other organs functioning and can lead to death.
Like a cars engine not receiving enough oil. It simply shuts down and ceases to run.

If it’s too high your organs explode. Stroke, aneurism, heart attack etc.

Lightlyseared's avatar

If you lose a large volume of blood then this will give you low blood pressure. With septic shock you get a lot vasodilation so the blood vessels become wider so there is more space for the blood and hence less pressure.

As to how you die – at the extreme organs like the heart and brains require a large amount of oxygen to keep them running if you have low blood pressure then the blood isn’t able to deliver the required oxygen and tissue begins to die. If enough heart tissue dies then that’s it – game over.

gondwanalon's avatar

I’ve experienced very low blood pressure due partly to a heart arrhythmia condition called atrial fibrillation (AF). To make matters worse certain drugs designed to treat AF also lower the blood pressure. This is like double jeopardy when the the patient remains in AF while on the anti-arrhythmia dugs. This situation caused me to black-out twice. Lucky for me there was furniture in my way to break my falls to limit the impacts to my head. Also my wife was present to care for me.

LostInParadise's avatar

Every time the heart beats, the flow of blood exerts pressure on veins and arteries. Low blood pressure indicates an insufficient flow of blood. High blood pressure indicates a blockage or constriction of arteries, causing the heart to have to work harder to maintain the same blood flow.

JLeslie's avatar

As people pointed out above, your blood pressure is part of what moves your blood around, most importantly it fights against gravity to keep a blood supply to your brain if you are sitting or worse standing up. Giraffes have the highest blood pressure in the animal kingdom, because they need to get the blood from the heart up that very long neck to their brains. When our pressure is low, and there is not enough blood for the brain we pass out, can be a good thing because now you are horizontal and blood can get to your brain more easily. Unless of course you hit your head on the way down in a fatal way.

Loss of blood pressure can be caused by many things: A hormone imbalance, thyroid problems are a big cause of high and low blood pressure. Bleeding. Illness. Genetically predisposed probably caused by the baroceptors (blood pressure detectors in the artery) being faulty and not self regulating your pressure to safe levels, this can cause high blood pressure also. There are more reasons I am sure that blood pressure can go whacky.

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