Low Blood Pressure (cont.)
The heart is an electrical pump. Problems with either the pump or the
electricity can cause problems with low blood pressure.
- If the heart beats too quickly, blood pressure may fall because there isn't
enough time for the heart to refill in between each beat (diastole). If the
heart beats too slowly, there may be too much time spent in diastole when blood
is not flowing.
- If the heart muscle has been damaged or irritated, there may not be enough
pumping force to maintain blood pressure. In heart attack
(myocardial infarction), enough heart muscle may be stunned so that the heart is too weak to
- The valves of the heart allow blood to flow in only one direction. If a
valve fails, blood can regurgitate backwards, minimizing the amount that will
flow out to the body. If a valve becomes narrowed (stenotic), then blood flow
may be decreased. Both situations may cause hypotension.
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