Let’s Talk Shock

We have all heard the term shock. Treat for shock, anaphylactic shock, septic shock, but what is shock? What happens when the body goes into shock? Are there different levels of shock? Is shock serious? Well, let’s explore that a little…..

Definition of shock:

Shock is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body is not getting enough blood flow. Lack of blood flow means that the cells and organs do not get enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly.

The Main types of shock include:

*Cardiogenic shock (due to heart problems)

*Hypovolemic shock (caused by too little blood volume)

*Anaphylactic shock (caused by allergic reaction)

*Septic shock (due to infections)

*Neurogenic shock (caused by damage to the nervous system)


Some causes of shock:

Shock may result from trauma, heatstroke, blood loss, severe burns or other causes such as:

*Spinal injury

*Heart problems

*Infection or severe allergic reaction


Signs and Symptoms of shock:

*Cool, clammy skin

*Rapid, shallow breathing

*Enlarged pupils

*Thirst and dry mouth (due to fluid depletion)

*Restlessness, anxiety or confusion

*Drowsiness or loss of responsiveness

*Nausea or vomiting

*Weakness or fatigue


Treatment for Shock:

If you suspect a person is in shock, call 911 or your local emergency number.

*Anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction) is treated with Benadryl and Epinephrine (an “Epi-Pen”), and steroid medications.

*Begin CPR if the person shows no signs of breathing

*Lay the person down (or keep comfortable if they are unwilling to lay down)

*Keep the person still and don’t move him or her unless necessary

*Loosen tight clothing and, if needed, cover the person with a blanket to prevent chilling.

*Don’t let the person eat or drink anything.

*If the person is bleeding, hold pressure over the bleeding area.

*If the person vomits or  begins bleeding from the mouth, turn him or her onto a side to prevent choking

Remember….Shock is a serious, and potentially life threatening condition. Call 911 if you suspect someone is in shock.





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