Information for Patients
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.
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.
Symptoms of shock include
- Confusion or lack of alertness
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden and ongoing rapid heartbeat
- Pale skin
- A weak pulse
- Rapid breathing
- Decreased or no urine output
- Cool hands and feet
Shock is a life-threatening medical emergency and it is important to get help right away. Treatment of shock depends on the cause.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute