Circulatory shock, commonly known simply as shock, is a life-threatening medical condition that occurs due to inadequate substrate for aerobic cellular respiration. In the early stages this is generally an inadequate tissue level of oxygen.
The typical signs of shock are low blood pressure, a rapid heartbeat and signs of poor end-organ perfusion or "decompensation" (such as low urine output, confusion or loss of consciousness). There are times that a person's blood pressure may remain stable, but may still be in circulatory shock, so it is not always a sign.
Circulatory shock should not be confused with the emotional state of shock, as the two are not related. Circulatory shock is a life-threatening medical emergency and one of the most common causes of death for critically ill people. Shock can have a variety of effects, all with similar outcomes, but all relate to a problem with the body's circulatory system. For example, shock may lead to hypoxemia (a lack of oxygen in arterial blood) or cardiac arrest.
One of the key dangers of shock is that it progresses by a positive feedback mechanism. Once shock begins, it tends to make itself worse. This is why immediate treatment of shock is critical.
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... In 1972 Hinshaw and Cox suggested the classification system for shock which is still used today. ...
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