Kauai resident Peggy Dixon enjoys an active lifestyle and counts paddle boarding among some of her favorite outdoor activities.

Video Visit Helps Kauai Resident Avoid a Trip to the Emergency Department


Peggy Dixon woke up one June morning with cause for concern. She was feeling lightheaded, noticed some mild tingling in her right hand, and her blood pressure was really high.

After a call to Kauai Medical Clinic Eleele where her primary care physician Dr. Clara Krebs is located, a video visit was quickly arranged and Peggy was soon being evaluated by her doctor via video on her phone.

“She examined me and put me through a series of questions and exercises,” said Peggy. “She explained that I was having a hypertension urgency episode.”

Hypertensive urgency happens when blood pressure spikes – blood pressure readings at 180/110 or higher – but there’s no damage to the body’s organs. In addition to severely elevated blood pressure, patients may have other symptoms like headache, lightheadedness, nausea, shortness of breath, palpitations, or anxiety. With hypertensive urgency, blood pressure can be brought down safely within a few hours with blood pressure medication.

As her primary care physician, Krebs was familiar with Peggy’s overall health condition and knew that she had a history of high blood pressure. While hypertensive urgency is a stressful and potentially serious medical problem, it can be managed if identified early enough.

“Because we have worked together for many years, we were able to avoid a lengthy and stressful trip to the ER for her,” said Krebs, who called in a prescription for Peggy’s high blood pressure medication after their face-to-face video visit.

Through the video appointment, Krebs ruled out severe medical problems, came up with a treatment plan, and scheduled a video follow up with Peggy for the next day – a Saturday – to make sure the treatment had the desired outcome, which it did.

“She was very thorough and detailed in her explanation and made me feel much better, but she also stressed the importance of calling 911 if things got worse,” said Peggy.

Peggy has continued to keep in touch with Krebs with a follow-up appointment and regular emails that Krebs requested she send her with her blood pressure information so she can regularly monitor her situation without Peggy needing to go in-person to the clinic.

“The level of care, the compassion and the dedication was truly amazing,” says Peggy. “I cannot imagine having a more positive experience under those circumstances.”

Published on: July 2, 2020