Shock is a syndrome of severely compromised peripheral blood flow with very low cardiac output and blood pressure. Severe blood loss causes a fall in blood pressure and hemorrhagic (hypovolemic) shock.

Other forms of shock include a sudden fall in cardiac output due to cardiac damage (cardiogenic shock) and the production of certain bacterial endotoxins that cause profound vasodilatation (septic shock).

In severe shock, the patient may present as cardiac arrest or collapse. The heart, lungs and brain may eventually succumb to the effects of ischemia. When coronary perfusion is compromised, cardiac output is further reduced, adding to the vicious cycle of shock.

Related Topics:

IschemiaDyspepsiaAntibiotic Stewardship

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