Cardiogenic shock is defined by low blood pressure due to the poor pumping of the heart. It is important to note that shock can occur if an individual abruptly loses significant amount of blood, experiencing a severe allergic reaction or the heart is not pumping adequately.
Remember that shock is an emergency and necessitates prompt medical care. If left untreated, it can lead to death.
What is the cause?
The usual cause of cardiogenic shock is a heart attack. Take note that a heart attack occurs once the heart muscle does not receive sufficient blood and oxygen. The lack of blood weakens the heart muscle. In some cases, some regions of the muscle die.
Once the muscle is damaged, the heart could not pump blood effectively.
What are the signs?
If an individual is under cardiogenic shock and the blood pressure is significantly low, the symptoms might include:
- Significant weakness
- Reduced urine output
- Pale skin
- Cold hands and feet
- Rapid, shallow breathing
In case the damage brought about by a heart attack is severe, the indications of cardiogenic shock might manifest right away. For less severe cases, shock might not arise for several hours.
Management of cardiogenic shock
Cardiogenic shock is managed in a healthcare facility. If a heart attack is responsible for the condition, the treatment generally includes medications to:
- Reinstate the flow of blood to the impaired region of the heart muscle
- Elevate the blood pressure
Take note that drugs might not be enough to manage the shock. The heart muscle might require pumping. A mechanical device specifically an intra-aortic balloon pump might be utilized briefly.