It was the middle of the night and Judy Graham, a 67-year-old grandmother from Sydney, got out of bed to go to the bathroom.
All of a sudden, the dark room swirled around her. She crashed to the floor, smashing her jaw into the bedside table.
Waking up in a pool of blood as her worried husband, Roy, called an ambulance, Judy had no idea why she’d fainted.
She was healthy and active, though she’d recently seen her doctor for a new script for amlodipine to try to bring down her bothersome high blood pressure.
In the emergency department, the doctors were concerned that her blood pressure was abnormally low – just 105 over 68 (the Australian Heart Foundation recommends the top number, the systolic blood pressure, should be 120 for people of Judy’s age).
It was the low blood pressure that had caused her to pass out as she stood up.
Judy Graham had joined a very large group of older people whose medicines were doing them more harm than good.