Circulatory shock is a life-threatening condition which is why a timely circulatory shock treatment can help in preventing a medical emergency. Scroll down to know about the causes, symptoms and treatment of this condition.
The circulatory system of the human body plays the vital function of delivering the much-needed nutrients to various parts of the body. Blood acts as a medium through which oxygen and various other nutrients are delivered to the various parts of the body. This is the reason why, poor blood circulation can have serious repercussions on one’s health. Circulatory shock is a serious medical condition wherein the amount of blood which is circulated throughout the body is inadequate.
Circulatory shock or circulatory insufficiency, can lead to the death of cells and tissues, which in turn, can lead to organ failure. Since high mortality rates are associated with circulatory shock, especially in critically ill patients, a timely treatment can certainly help in averting a life-threatening medical crisis. In this article, we would be looking into circulatory shock treatment options along with the circumstances under which one may suffer from a circulatory shock.
Causes and Symptoms of Circulatory Shock
The collective working of the organ systems is essential for the proper functioning of the human body. While the lungs facilitate the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, it is the heart that pumps the oxygenated blood. This oxygen rich blood is then taken to various parts of the body through blood vessels. Circulatory problems could occur if any of the organs are affected by any medical condition. At times, the circulating volume, which is the amount of blood that is being circulated, may be inadequate.
Such a condition is referred to as hypovolemic shock. This could be caused by penetrating trauma and blood loss that occurs due to trauma. Obstructive shock is another subtype of circulatory shock that occurs as a result of obstruction to blood flow. Cardiogenic shock, as the name suggests, occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood to various parts of the body. Distributive shock is another type of circulatory shock that may occur as a result of sepsis.
Circulatory shock is reversible in the first stage, which is why, prognosis is fairly good if it is diagnosed in the initial stage. Even in the next stage (compensatory stage), the chances of recovery are fairly good, as the body tries to use compensatory mechanisms in order to prevent the damage. However, in the third stage of shock (progressive stage), the compensatory mechanism may fail and the condition may deteriorate.
The last stage (refractory stage) is characterized by organ failure. Circulatory shock prevention is possible if circulatory problems are diagnosed in the early stages. Some of the common symptoms that the patient may exhibit include rapid heartbeat, hyperventilation, anxiety, hypoxemia, cyanosis and hypotension.
Treatment of Circulatory Shock
Since the effects of circulatory shock can be reversed in the initial stage, medical assistance must be immediately sought when one exhibits any of the aforementioned symptoms. Here’s some information on the steps that the doctors may take for slowing down the progression of shock to the later stages.
Since low oxygen levels in blood (hypoxemia) is one of the common symptoms of circulatory shock, doctors usually recommend oxygen therapy for the treatment of circulatory shock. Oxygen supplementation is suggested in order to lower the risk of complications that may result from hypoxemia. Oxygen can be administered through a face mask. Mechanical ventilation may be recommended if the patient is suffering from severe breathing problems.
Intravenous Administration of Fluids
Doctors may also run certain tests in order to ascertain the kinds of fluids that may have to be administered intravenously. In case of patients suffering from hypovolemic shock, wherein the circulating volume is inadequate, blood transfusion would certainly be needed. Saline solutions or plasma substitutes may also have to be administered for correcting the balance of fluids as well as electrolytes.
As mentioned earlier, the treatment would vary depending on the type of circulatory shock, one is diagnosed with. For instances, antibiotics may have to be administered in case one is diagnosed with bacterial blood infection. Anaphylactic shock, is another type of shock that is caused due to a severe allergic reaction. Antihistamines or anti-inflammatory drugs may be administered intravenously for patients suffering from anaphylactic shock.
Other drugs that would be administered would depend on the underlying cause of circulatory shock. If a person is suffering from an obstructive circulatory shock wherein blood circulation is affected by the presence of a blood clot within the blood vessels, blood thinners may be given to facilitate the removal of the blood clot. Drugs may also be given to stabilize the blood pressure levels.
On a concluding note, the treatment options for circulatory shock would vary depending on the type of shock one may be suffering from. The prognosis of circulatory shock is fairly good if this condition is diagnosed and treated in the early stages. Under such circumstances, the effects of the shock can be easily reversed through oxygen therapy, intravenous fluid infusion and intravenous administration of drugs.