DESCRIPTIONShock is low blood pressure that is extensive enough so the body cannot maintain normal functions. Shock does not include a person's reaction to emotional trauma. The heart, blood vessels, blood, and body electrolytes are involved.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Surgery to stop hemorrhaging.
Hospitalization for inatravenous fluids and medications to raise blood pressure and treat the underlying cause.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSCold hands and feet.
Fast, weak pulse.
Disorientation or confusion.
Anxiety with feelings of impending doom.
Skin that is pale, moist, and sweaty.
Shortness of breath and rapid breathing.
Lack of urination.
Low blood pressure. This may be so low that it cannot be measured by the usual means.
CAUSESSudden loss of blood from injury or disorders, such as a bleeding peptic ulcer, a ruptured aneurysm or a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.
Fluid loss, such as occurs with severe burns, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, or peritonitis.
Impaired heart-pumping function from a heart attack, heart-rhythm irregularities, pericarditis, or a pulmonary embolism.
Blood poisoning, which causes blood vessels to greatly expand, such as occurs with toxic shock syndrome or major infections.
Some endocrine diseases, such as Addison's disease or diabetes mellitus.
RISK FACTORSRecent serious injury.
Use of drugs that cause anaphylactic (allergic) shock as an adverse reaction, such as penicillin, local anesthetics, and many others.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEYour child should avoid causes and risk factors when possible.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory blood studies to measure the amount of blood in circulation and to measure the child's fluids and electrolytes.
Permanent brain damage.
Usually curable with early diagnosis and treatment. Without treatment, shock can be fatal to your child.
HOME CAREIf you observe signs of shock in your child, do the following until medical help arrives:
Stop external bleeding by applying pressure.
Keep the victim lying down with legs elevated. Cover the child for warmth.
Make sure the victim's airway is open to allow breathing. If your child's breathing stops, give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. If breathing and pulse stop, give cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
MEDICATIONIf shock is from blood or fluid loss, treatment includes blood transfusion or intravenous fluids.
If blood pressure is at a life-threatening low level, hypertensive drugs to raise blood pressure may be given to your child.
If infection is present, antibiotics will be used.
Depends on the underlying disorder:
Your child should rest in bed until completely recovered. Moving the legs actively while in bed decreases the likelihood of deep-vein blood clots.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When appetite has returned and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of shock or you observe them in someone else. Call immediately. This is a life-threatening emergency!