Shock is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body is not getting enough blood flow. This can damage multiple organs. Shock requires immediate medical treatment and can get worse very rapidly.
Major classes of shock include:
Cardiogenic shock(associated with heart problems)
Hypovolemic shock(caused by inadequate blood volume)
Anaphylactic shock(caused by allergic reaction)
Septic shock(associated with infections)
- Neurogenic shock (caused by damage to the nervous system)
Shock can be caused by any condition that reduces blood flow, including:
- Heart problems (such as
heart attackor heart failure)
- Low blood volume (as with heavy
- Changes in blood vessels (as with infection or
severe allergic reactions)
- Certain medications that significantly reduce heart function or blood pressure
Shock is often associated with heavy external or internal bleeding from a serious injury.
Review Date: 01/10/2010
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.