shock, or circulatory
condition that leads to a sudden reduction of blood (oxygen
and vital nutrients) flow to the body's major organs can
adversely affect their function, putting the individual in a
state known as shock. In shock, the blood's ability to
remove metabolic and toxic cellular waste is also affected
by the reduction of blood
The mechanism of shock is extremely
complicated, directly involving the body's system in
relation to hormonal and chemical cascades.
- Hypovolemic shock refers to the
conditions affecting the blood volume and it's availability
to the body.
- Blood loss due to trauma, major surgery,
childbirth, rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm,
gastrointestinal bleeding (e.g., perforated stomach ulcer).
- Diarrhea (e.g., Cholera, Burns are conditions in which
a significant amount of fluids are lost, thus reducing the
overall blood volume.
- Loss of blood from the vessels into the
surrounding tissues, thus reducing actual volume that may
arise from anaphylactic shock or pancreatitis
- Cardiogenic shock -- pump failure occurs
when the blood volume is adequate, but the heart is not able
to pump it or get it to the body's organs.
- Conditions such as an acute Myocardial Infarction
(heart attack), arrythmias, and mitral valve rupture are
some of these causes.
- Distributive shock results from conditions that cause the blood vessels to dilate (enlarge), leading to a pooling of blood and reduction of it's overall force and volume to the vital organs. Examples of theses conditions are septic shock (see Sepsis), Abscess, peritonitis, Pneumonia, Toxic Shock Syndrome,
drug overdose (Narcotics, barbiturates) spinal cord damage,
spinal anesthesias and anaphylactic shock (severe allergic
- Obstructive shock occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood out because of external factors that impede the flow of the blood, such as Cardiac Tamponade, Pulmonary Embolism, vena caval obstruction, Aortic Dissection and
aortic compression by a tumor or neoplasm.
- See specific diseases above for symptoms, diagnosis and treatments.
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