Although medical shock has many different causes, its symptoms are generally the same. The symptoms are a result of the body's organs and tissues not getting enough oxygen.
Signs and symptoms of shock include:cold, pale, or clammy skinexcessive sweatingfast heart rateshallow and rapid breathingdrowsinessfaintingblue or gray lips or fingernailsirritabilityanxietydizzinessenlarged pupilsnausea or vomitingIf a person is in shock, the first step is to call 911 or the local emergency number, even if the symptoms are mild.While waiting for the medical team, people can assist by:helping the person lie down and elevate their feet, if possibleavoiding moving the person if they may have injured their head, neck, or backperforming first aid on injuries if necessarykeeping the person warm with a blanket or coatrefraining from giving the person food or drinkchecking for breathing and a pulse at least every 5 minutes (if the person is not breathing, a trained person can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR))turning the person on their side if they are choking or vomitingMedical professionals often recognize shock because of its characteristic signs, including low blood pressure.The treatment for shock will vary based on the underlying cause. For instance, a person experiencing anaphylaxis may need a shot of epinephrine, which can treat severe allergic reactions.If a person has sepsis, they may need antibiotics, oxygen, and intravenous (IV) fluids.People with hypovolemic shock may need a blood transfusion and IV fluids. Doctors may start blood transfusions or other measures to help restore proper blood flow, even if they do not know the underlying cause.The medical team may run various tests to determine the cause of shock, including:After a person receives treatment for shock, a doctor may help them put a follow-up plan in place to help prevent another event. Some examples include:People who have cardiogenic shock due to a blood clot may need additional treatment to break up the clot.A person who went into anaphylactic shock may need to carry epinephrine or other medications to help stop allergic reactions. They will also need to avoid contact with allergens in the future.A person who had a heart attack may require lifestyle changes and medications to help reduce the chances of another heart attack.It can take some time to recover from any type of medical shock. Shock can cause fatigue, muscle aches, and trouble with strength or mental function. Sometimes, these effects are long lasting.People may need rehabilitation, either in the hospital or in another facility. They may also need help with tasks at home as they recover.After septic shock, some people experience lingering side effects, such as pain or trouble concentrating or remembering things. Depression or anxiety may also occur. Talking to a doctor about these effects can help during recovery.Medical shock is a life threatening condition. It occurs when the organs in the body are not getting enough oxygen.Causes of shock include severe blood loss, dehydration, and a cardiac event. It is important to seek immediate medical care for any symptoms of shock, even if they are mild.