Shock is a loss of effective circulation (hypoperfusion) resulting in impaired tissue oxygen and nutrient delivery. Shock eventually causes life threatening organ failure. [ARC 2016]
Causes of SHOCK include:
● Hypovolaemic: severe bleeding (internal and / or external), major or multiple fractures or major trauma, severe burns, severe diarrhoea/ vomiting/ sweating
● Cardiogenic: heart attack, dysrhythmias
● Distributive (abnormal vessel dilation): severe infection, allergic
reactions, spinal injuries
● Obstructive (blockage of blood flow in/out of the heart): tension
pneumothorax, cardiac tamponade, pulmonary embolus, pregnancy (compression of large abdominal blood vessels by the uterus)
The CIRCULATORY SYSTEM can be thought of simply as a garden reticulation system
● The function of the system is to keep the grass green!
● Any disruption in the system will cause the other elements to react/compensate
● If pressure can’t be maintained in the system, the result is SHOCK!
Try not to think of treating someone for “shock” alone, Rather- try to identify and treat the contributing factors early
Complete a thorough DRSABCDEFG assessment
Stop bleeding and treat “fixable” problems immediately
Prioritise environmental protection for the patient- sick people
are unable to care for themselves!!
Reassure and constantly re-check the patient’s condition for
For patients with no evidence of trauma the use of passive
leg raise may provide a transient (< 7 minutes) improvement.
Evacuation: Consider: All patients with injuries significant enough to cause uncontrolled shock Rapid: Deteriorating patients, uncontrollable bleeding, airway problems and unstable vital signs