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Physiological shock is when you don't have enough blood to support your organs and tissues. Psychological shock is often related to trauma.

What's the shock?

The term "shock" can refer to a type of psychological or physiological shock.

Psychological shock is caused by a traumatic event and is also known asacute stress disorder. This type of shock causes a strong emotional response and can also cause physical responses.

The focus of this article is on the multiple causes of physiological shock.

Your body goes into shock when you don't have enough blood circulating through your system to keep your organs and tissues working properly.

It can be caused by any injury or condition that affects the flow of blood through the body. Shock can lead to multiple organ failure as well as life-threatening complications.

There are many types of shock. They fall into four main categories based on what affected blood flow. The four main types are:

  • obstructive shock
  • cardiogenic shock
  • distributive shock
  • hypovolemic shock

All forms of shock are fatal.

If you develop symptoms of shock, seek medical help immediately.

If you go into shock, you may experience one or more of the following:

  • fast, weak or absent pulse
  • irregular heart rhythm
  • fast and shallow breathing
  • stun
  • cold, wet skin
  • dilated pupils
  • opaque eyes
  • Chest pain
  • nausea
  • Confusion
  • anxiety
  • decreased urination
  • thirst and dry mouth
  • Low blood sugar
  • loss of consciousness

Anything that affects the flow of blood through the body can cause shock. Some causes of shock include:

  • forteallergic reaction
  • significant blood loss
  • cardiac insufficiency
  • blood infections
  • dehydration
  • poisoning
  • burns

There are four main types of shock, each of which can be caused by a different series of events.

obstructive shock

Obstructive shock occurs when blood cannot get where it needs to go. ANpulmonary embolismit is a condition that can cause an interruption of blood flow. Conditions that can cause air or fluid to accumulate in the chest cavity can also lead to obstructive shock. These include:

  • pneumothorax(collapsed lung)
  • hemothorax (blood collects in the space between the chest wall and the lung)
  • cardiac tamponade(blood or fluid fills the space between the sac surrounding the heart and the heart muscle)

cardiogenic shock

Damage to the heart can decrease blood flow to the body, leading to cardiogenic shock. Common causes of cardiogenic shock include:

  • damage to your heart muscle
  • irregular heart rhythm
  • very slow heart rate

distributive shock

Conditions that cause blood vessels to lose tone can cause distributive shock. When your blood vessels lose tone, they can become so open and saggy that there isn't enough blood pressure to your organs. Distributive shock can lead to symptoms including:

  • redness
  • low blood pressure
  • loss of consciousness

There are several types of distributive shock, including the following:

anaphylactic shockis a complication of a serious allergic reaction known asanaphylaxis. Allergic reactions occur when your body mistakenly treats a harmless substance as harmful. This triggers a dangerous immune response.

Anaphylaxis is usually caused by allergic reactions to food, insect venom, medications, or latex.

septic shockit is another form of distributional shock.Septicemia, also known as blood poisoning, is a condition caused by infections that cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Septic shock occurs when bacteria and their toxins cause serious damage to the body's tissues or organs.

neurogenic shockit is caused by damage to the central nervous system, usually a spinal cord injury. This causes the blood vessels to dilate and the skin may become warm and red. Heart rate slows down and blood pressure drops sharply.

Drug toxicity and brain injuryit can also lead to a distributive shock.

hypovolemic shock

hypovolemic shockIt occurs when there is not enough blood in the blood vessels to carry oxygen to the organs. This can be caused by severe blood loss, for example due to injury.

Your blood supplies vital oxygen and nutrients to your organs. If you lose too much blood, your organs will not be able to function properly. Seriousdehydrationcan also cause this type of shock.

Rescuers and doctors often recognize shock by its outward symptoms. They can also check:

  • low blood pressure
  • weak pulse
  • fast heartbeat

Once shock is diagnosed, your first priority is to provide life-saving treatment to get the blood circulating through the body as quickly as possible. This can be done by giving fluids, medications, blood products, and supportive care. It won't fix it unless they can find and treat the cause.

Once you're stable, your doctor can try to diagnose the cause of the shock. To do this, they may order one or more tests, such as imaging or blood tests.

imaging exams

Your doctor may order imaging tests to check for injuries or damage to internal tissues and organs, such as:

  • bone fractures
  • organ ruptures
  • muscle or tendon tears
  • abnormal growths

Such tests include:

  • ultrasound
  • bone scan
  • computed tomography
  • MRI

blood test

Your doctor may use blood tests to look for signs of:

  • significant blood loss
  • infection in your blood
  • overdose of drugs or medications

Shock can lead to unconsciousness, breathing problems and even cardiac arrest:

  • If you suspect that you are in shock, seek medical help immediately.
  • If you suspect someone has gone into shock, call 911 and provide first aid treatment until professional help arrives.

first aid treatment

If you suspect someone has gone into shock, call 911. Then follow these steps:

  1. If he's unconscious, check to see if he's still breathing and has a heartbeat.
  2. If you do not detect breathing or a heartbeat, startRCP.

If they are breathing:

  1. Lay them on their backs.
  2. Elevate your feet at least 12 inches off the floor. This position, known as the shock position, helps direct blood to vital organs where it is needed most.
  3. Cover them with a blanket or extra clothing to help keep them warm.
  4. Check your breathing and heart rate regularly to see if there are any changes.

If you suspect the person has hurt their head, neck or back, avoid moving them.

Apply first aid to any visible wounds. If you suspect the person is having an allergic reaction, ask if they haveepinephrine auto injector(EpiPen). People with severe allergies often carry this device.

It contains an easy-to-inject needle with a dose of a hormone called epinephrine. You can use it to treat anaphylaxis.

If you start vomiting, turn your head to the side. This helps to avoid suffocation. If you suspect you've injured your neck or back, avoid turning your head. Instead, he stabilizes his neck and turns his entire body to one side to clear the vomit.

medical attention

Your doctor's treatment plan for shock will depend on the cause of your condition. Different types of accidents are handled differently. For example, your doctor might use:

  • epinephrine and other drugs to treat anaphylactic shock
  • blood transfusion to replace lost blood and treat hypovolemic shock
  • medications, heart surgery, or other interventions to treat cardiogenic shock
  • antibiotics to treat septic shock

It is possible to fully recover from shock. But if not treated quickly enough, shock can cause permanent organ damage, disability and even death. It is critical to call 911 immediately if you suspect you or someone you are in shock.

Your chances of recovery and long-term outlook depend on many factors, including:

  • the cause of the shock
  • the time you were in shock
  • the area and extent of organic damage suffered
  • the treatment and care you received
  • your age and medical history

Some forms and cases of shock can be avoided. Take steps to lead a safe and healthy lifestyle. For example:

  • If you've been diagnosed with severe allergies, avoid triggers, carry an epinephrine auto-injector with you, and use it at the first sign of an anaphylactic reaction.
  • To reduce the risk of blood loss from injury, wear protective gear when participating in contact sports, cycling, and using hazardous equipment. Wear a seat belt when traveling in motor vehicles.
  • To reduce your chances of heart damage, eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and passive smoking.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. This is especially important when you spend a lot of time in very hot or humid environments.

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