What is shock?
A person with shock has a life-threatening condition that prevents the heart and bloodstream from delivering enough oxygen to keep up with the body's demands. Prolonged shock results in the death of cells, because they do not receive enough oxygen. Shock may be caused by heart failure, poor blood flow to the lungs, severe blood loss, or severe dilation of the blood vessels throughout the body.
What are the symptoms of shock?
Symptoms of shock include low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, pale skin, excessive sweating, excessive sleepiness, fainting, cool limbs, confusion, and coma.
How does the doctor treat shock?
The treatment for shock depends on the underlying cause. Treatment for shock may include, intravenous fluids, cardiac monitoring, oxygen therapy, corticosteroid medications, antibiotics, medications for low blood pressure, surgery, blood transfusions, or a ventilator to support breathing.
Continue to Shock Incidence
- Atkinson PP, Atkinson JL. Spinal shock. Mayo Clin Proc. 1996 Apr;71(4):384-9. 
- Ditunno JF, Little JW, Tessler A, Burns AS. Spinal shock revisited: a four-phase model. Spinal Cord. 2004 Jul;42(7):383-95. 
- Krost WS. Cardiogenic shock. Emerg Med Serv. 2004 Sep;33(9):69-73, 78. 
- Magder S, Cernacek P. Role of endothelins in septic, cardiogenic, and hemorrhagic shock. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2003 Jun;81(6):635-43. 
- Wilson M, Davis DP, Coimbra R. Diagnosis and monitoring of hemorrhagic shock during the initial resuscitation of multiple trauma patients: a review. J Emerg Med. 2003 May;24(4):413-22.