Where’s the White Coat?

“Hmmmm  160/90” I muse with my best concerned look

“Oh my blood pressure is always up when I see a doctor – it’s white coat blood pressure” Accompanied by a dismissive hand flap.

“Okay, now here’s your sick certificate….that was three days last week?”

Hold on there !!

There is something wrong with this scenario.

Sure if I had a 12 patient an hour habit that would be an easy level B.

White coat blood pressure!

I haven’t worn a white coat since my days as a pharmacy student and after a busy day compounding that surely wasn’t white. If I recall the white coat went into a vat of purple dye just prior to graduation but that is another story.

Today, I read a paper by O’Callaghan in the AFP (Aust Fam Phys 2013; 42 (6) 376-9) which suggests that this patient runs a 40% chance of developing hypertension over the next 10 years even if his diagnosis is correct.  The next step would a suggestion that ambulatory blood pressure monitoring may prove him absolute correct – lets give it a go.

And so a new conversation trail begins…….

If you want to know how the story ends have a look at this Heart Foundation link.


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