Shock is a threatening life condition of circulatory failure which causes inadequate oxygen delivery to meet cellular metabolic needs and oxygen consumption requirements, producing cellular and tissue hypoxia. The effects of shock are initially reversible, but rapidly become irreversible, resulting in multiorgan failure (MOF) and death. When a patient presents with undifferentiated shock, it is important that the clinician immediately initiate therapy while rapidly identifying the etiology so that definitive therapy can be administered to reverse shock and prevent MOF and death.
There are four main types of shock:
1. Anaphylactic shock
2. Cardiogenic shock
3. Hypovolemic shock
4. Septic shock
Anaphylactic shock is a severe and sudden allergic reaction that can occur after exposure to an allergen. Symptoms include swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, and a drop in blood pressure. Anaphylactic shock can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical treatment.
Cardiogenic shock occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This can be due to a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart conditions. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, and a weak and irregular heartbeat. Cardiogenic shock is a medical emergency and requires treatment in a hospital.
Hypovolemic shock occurs when there is a decrease in the amount of blood or fluid in the body. This can be due to blood loss from an injury, severe dehydration, or excessive vomiting or diarrhea. Symptoms include lightheadedness, fainting, and a decrease in urine output. Hypovolemic shock can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical treatment.
Septic shock. This type of shock is caused by an infection or sepsis. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when an infection spreads throughout the body. Symptoms include low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, chills, and fever. Septic shock is a medical emergency and requires treatment in a hospital.