Shock may result from loss of blood or plasma volume. This may occur as a result of haemorrhage or severe diarrhoea and vomiting. It may also result from peripheral pooling of blood due to such causes as TOXAEMIA or ANAPHYLAXIS. The toxaemia is commonly the result of a SEPTICAEMIA in which leakage through capillaries reduces circulating blood volume. Another form is called cardogenic shock, and is due to failure of the heart as a pump. It is most commonly seen as a result of myocardial infarction (see under HEART, DISEASES OF).
If failure of adequate blood ?ow to vital organs is prolonged, the e?ects can be disastrous. The ischaemic intestine permits the transfer of toxic bacterial products and proteins across its wall into the blood; renal ISCHAEMIA prevents the maintenance of a normal electrolyte and acid-base balance.
Treatment If the shock is a result of haemorrhage or diarrhoea or vomiting, replacement of blood, lost ?uid and electrolytes is of prime importance. If it is due to septicaemia, treatment of the infection is of paramount importance, and in addition, intravenous ?uids and vasopressor drugs will be required. Cardiogenic shock is treated by attention to the underlying cause. Full intensive care is likely to be required, and arti?cial ventilation and DIALYSIS may both be needed.