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What Every Hospital and Critical Care Pharmacist Needs to Know About Managing Hypertensive Emergencies: Case Studies to Challenge the Experts

This activity has been supported by an independent educational grant from Chiesi USA, Inc.

Provided by AcademicCME

Release date

December 17, 2021

Expiration date

December 16, 2022

Program Overview

This CE activity is derived from content presented at the 2021 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition. In this education the expert faculty, led by Dr. John Fanikos, will analyze pertinent information for hospital and critical care pharmacists related to managing hypertensive emergencies. Hypertensive emergencies lead to acute or progressive end-organ dysfunction. In these cases, blood pressure must be aggressively managed over minutes to hours. Emergency department visits for hypertensive emergency have increased more than two-fold and are associated with a high mortality. This case-based symposium presents specific hypertensive emergencies with a focus on the pharmacists’ role in optimizing antihypertensive drug therapy selection, effectively targeting blood pressure reduction goals, and preserving the specific organ at risk.

Target Audience

Hospital pharmacists (with special focus on clinical pharmacists in the ED or ICU) who are involved in the management of patients with acute severe hypertension


  • Welcome, Introductions and Objectives
  • Case Vignettes on the Challenges of Acute Severe Hypertension
    • Acute Stroke at a Stroke Hospital
    • Aortic Dissection in the ED
    • Acute Renal Failure in the SICU

Learning Objectives

  • Review the physiological mechanisms involved in development of acute severe hypertension, the lexicon of “hypertensive crisis,” and the pathophysiology of end-organ damage from acute severe hypertension
  • Review the current standard of care for the management of acute severe hypertension in adults, across various underlying end-organ damage states, including stroke, heart failure, aortic dissection, and myocardial infarction
  • Improve competence and confidence in the hospital and ED/ICU pharmacist’s role in helping advise/guide the interprofessional healthcare team on optimal care of patients with acute severe hypertension


John Fanikos, RPh, MBA
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Practice
Northeastern University
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy
Director of Pharmacy Business and Financial Services
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, MA


Megan E. Barra, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA

Craig Beavers, PharmD
Centennial Medical Center
Lexington, KY

Disclosures of Conflict of Interest

It is the policy of AcademicCME that all faculty, instructors, and planners disclose real or apparent conflicts of interest relating to the topics of this educational activity.

The faculty reported the following financial relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CE activity:

Faculty Relationship Identified With:
John Fanikos, RPh, MBA Consultant/Advisor: Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Boehringer Ingelheim International GmBH; Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc; Pfizer Inc.; Portola Pharmaceuticals; Vifor Pharma
Megan E. Barra, PharmD,
Nothing to disclose
Craig Beavers, PharmD Nothing to disclose

Planners and Peer Reviewers

Timothy Hayes, MD, PhD; Kim Cheramie, MSN, RN-BC; Chelsey Benedek and Nicole McMenamin state that they or their spouse/life partner do not have any financial relationships to products or devices with any commercial interests related to the content of this activity of any amount during the past 12 months.

Accreditation Statement

In support of improving patient care, AcademicCME is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Credit Designation Statements

AcademicCME designates this continuing education activity for 1.50 CPE Contact Hours (0.15 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy education credit (UAN # JA4008190-0000-21-023-H04-P).

Participants should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use

This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. AcademicCME and Chiesi USA, Inc. do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications.


Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications on dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.

Method of Participation

In order to claim credit, participants must complete the following:

1. Read the learning objectives, accreditation information and faculty disclosures at the beginning of this activity.
2. Complete the Pre-Activity Questions
3. Read or Review the activity content.
4. Complete the Post-Activity Test Questions and Evaluation.
5. Learners who receive a grade of 66% or better on the Post-Activity Test Questions and complete the Evaluation will receive appropriate credit as indicated (CME, CNE, and/or CPE credit). 

  • CPE credit will be posted to the learner's CPE Monitor profile within 60 days of completion. 
  • CME and CNE credit will be issued appropriate certificate of completion. 
  • Others may request a "certificate of completion".

6. Learners should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

CE Inquiries/Special Needs

For all CE inquiries or special needs, please contact admin@academiccme.com.