by Krisha McCoy, MS
Shock is the inadequate blood flow threatens the function of multiple organs. Shock is a potentially life-threatening condition. The sooner it is treated, the better the outcome. If you suspect someone is in shock, call for medical help right away.
Some causes of shock include:
Risk Factors TOP
Factors that may increase your chances of shock:
The symptoms of shock depend on the cause.
Symptoms may include:
A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include the following:
Treatment options include the following:
If you are having trouble breathing, your doctor will clear your airway. Oxygen and breathing assistance may be provided if you need it.
Optimizing Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
You will receive an IV for fluids and/or blood transfusions. These will stabilize your blood pressure and heart rate.
You may be given vasopressors. These medications constrict your blood vessels to increase blood pressure. Drugs may also be used to increase your heart contractions.
Other medications may be used depending on the underlying cause.
To help reduce your chances of shock:
American College of Emergency Physicians
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
Canadian Red Cross
Cardiogenic shock. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115657/Cardiogenic-shock. Updated June 5, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2017.
Cardiogenic shock. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/cardiogenic-shock. Updated July 1, 2011. Accessed December 14, 2017.
The signs of hypovolemic shock. Health Guidance website. Available at:
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Accessed December 14, 2017.
Last reviewed December 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcie L. Sidman, MD
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
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