Shock is a condition that happens when the body does not get enough blood flow. It can impair the function of body organs. It is life-threatening and needs care right away.
Some causes of shock are:
Things that raise the risk of shock are:
- Heart or blood vessel disease
- Weak immune system
- Severe allergies
- Severe trauma
The symptoms of shock depend on the cause. Shock can lead to:
- Problems with thinking or changes in behavior
- Decreased urination (peeing)
Shock can also cause:
- Cool and clammy skin
- Pale or mottled skin color
- Slow heartbeat
- Slow and shallow or fast and deep breathing
- Dull eyes
- Pupils of the eye are larger than normal
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.http://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=75447544si55550379.jpgsi55550379.jpgNULLjpgsi55550379.jpgNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\si55550379.jpgNULL34NULL2008-12-10261400Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:
- Breathing assessment
- Blood pressure measurement
- Heart rate monitoring
Other tests may be done to look for a cause. Tests may be:
- Blood tests and cultures
- Imaging tests
Shock will need emergency care. Treatment will help to improve blood flow and stop further damage. Care may include:
- Fluids or blood will be given through an IV. It will help to get blood pressure and heart rate to safer levels.
- The airway may need to be supported if there are breathing problems. Oxygen or other treatment will also make breathing easier.
- Medicine can help to increase blood pressure and blood flow. Other medicine can make the heart beat more forcefully.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.http://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=69136913IV_insertion.jpgIV_insertionNULLjpgIV_insertionNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\IV_insertion.jpgNULL66NULL2008-02-042394006913_165038Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Other treatment may be needed to treat the cause of shock.
To help reduce the risk of shock:
- Prevent or control heart or vascular disease.
- Avoid activity that puts you at risk of falls or other injuries.
- Carry an epinephrine pen with you if you have a severe allergy.
- Follow care plan for health issues, such as diabetes.
- Cardiogenic shock. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/cardiogenic-shock.
- Cardiogenic shock. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17837-cardiogenic-shock.
- Patel S, Holden K, et al. Shock. Crit Care Nurs Q. 2022;45(3):225-232.
- The signs of hypovolemic shock. Health Guidance website. Available at: http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/12784/1/The-Signs-of-Hypovolemic-Shock.html. Accessed September 17, 2020.
- Mark Arredondo, MD
(C) Copyright 2023 EBSCO Information Services
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com.