Shock (patient information)

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What are the symptoms?

What are the causes?


When to seek urgent medical care?

Treatment options

Where to find medical care for Shock?


What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

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Shock happens when not enough blood and oxygen can get to your organs and tissues. It causes very low blood pressure and may be life threatening. It often happens along with a serious injury.

What are the symptoms of shock?

Symptoms of shock include:

  • Confusion or lack of alertness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sudden and ongoing rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Pale skin
  • A weak pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Decreased or no urine output
  • Cool hands and feet

What causes shock?

There are several kinds of shock. Hypovolemic shock happens when you lose a lot of blood or fluids. Causes include internal or external bleeding, dehydration, burns, and severe vomiting and/or diarrhea. Septic shock is caused by infections in the bloodstream. A severe allergic reaction can cause anaphylactic shock. An insect bite or sting might cause it. Cardiogenic shock happens when the heart cannot pump blood effectively. This may happen after a heart attack. Neurogenic shock is caused by damage to the nervous system.

Who is at highest risk?


When to seek urgent medical care?

Shock is a life-threatening medical emergency and it is important to get help right away.

Treatment options

Treatment of shock depends on the cause.

Contraindicated medications

Shock is considered an absolute contraindication to the use of the following medications:

Where to find medical care for shock?


What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible complications