November 28, 2015
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Shock (cont.)

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What are the causes of shock?

There are several main causes of shock:

  • Heart conditions (heart attack, heart failure)
  • Heavy internal or external bleeding, such as from a serious injury or rupture of a blood vessel
  • Dehydration, especially when severe or related to heat illness.
  • Infection (septic shock)
  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock)
  • Spinal injuries (neurogenic shock)
  • Burns
  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea

What are the symptoms of shock?

Low blood pressure and rapid heart rate (tachycardia) are the key signs of shock.

Symptoms of all types of shock include:

  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weakness

Depending on the type of shock the following symptoms may also be observed:

  • Eyes appear to stare
  • Anxiety or agitation
  • Seizures
  • Confusion or unresponsiveness
  • Low or no urine output
  • Bluish lips and fingernails
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/5/2015


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