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Guide to Types of Shock

A patient's body is in shock when there is not enough blood circulating throughout their organ systems for their body to continue to function properly. There are many types, causes, and symptoms of shock. Shock causes of shock may be significant blood loss, heart failure, burns or poisoning. As shock is a life-threatening issue that may lead to multiple organ failure and other complications, it is important for healthcare professionals to be able to recognize and differentiate the many types of shock. Use this guide to help you recognize common types of shock.

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This resource is a vital concept for all nurses and may accompany any of our continuing education courses. View the general class catalog here.



 

Guide to Types of Shock


TYPE DESCRIPTION SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
ANAPHYLACTIC Severe allergic reaction Hypotension
Tachycardia
↓ Cardiac Output
↓ Systemic Vascular Resistance
Cough
Dyspnea
Pruritus
Urticaria
Restlessness
↓ level of consciousness
CARDIOGENIC Heart  fails to pump normally Hypotension
Weak, thready pulse
↑Systemic Vascular Resistance
↓Cardiac Output
Crackles, tachypnea
Cool, pale, clammy skin
Urine output <30 mL/hr
HYPOVOLEMIC Reduced circulating blood volume Hypotension
Weak, thready pulse
↓ Cardiac Output
↑Systemic Vascular Resistance
Tachycardia
Cool, pale, clammy skin
↓ Urine output
NEUROGENIC Severe damage to the central nervous system Hypotension
↓Cardiac Output
Bradycardia
Warm, dry skin
Venous & arterial vasodilation
Loss of bladder control
OBSTRUCTIVE Heart or great blood vessels are blocked by a physical obstruction Hypotension
Muffled heart sounds
↓ Cardiac Output
↓ level of consciousness
Signs of poor perfusion
Pale, cool skin
↓ Urine output
Temperature
SEPTIC Severe immune response to an infection Hypotension
Full bounding pulse
↓ Systemic Vascular Resistance
↓ Cardiac Output
Tachycardia
Warm, flushed skin
Tachypnea
↓ Urine output
Fever
 
Please note: ↓ = Decrease and ↑ = Increase
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