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The Dangers of Cardiogenic Shock

Shock is a condition where not enough blood is reaching organs and tissues in the body. The tissues do not receive adequate oxygen and nutrients carried in the blood and they cannot function properly. If shock is not treated adequately, the organs and tissues become damaged. In extreme cases, death can occur.

Cardiogenic shock is one cause of shock and occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood throughout the body. It is a serious condition and must be treated quickly to prevent organ failure and death.

Causes & Symptoms

A heart attack and heart conditions that result from a heart attack can cause cardiogenic shock. Other heart conditions such as myocarditis, endocarditis, arrhythmia and pericardial tamponade can also cause cardiogenic shock.

A pulmonary embolism, or blood clot in an artery leading to the lungs, is also a known cause.

In cardiogenic shock, blood is not reaching important parts of the body like the brain and kidneys. Symptoms include very low blood pressure, loss of consciousness, rapid heartbeat, sweating, pale skin, weak pulse, and cool hands and feet.

Treatments & Prevention

Treatment of cardiogenic shock involves restoring normal heart function and helping blood and oxygen reach body organs and tissues. Medications may be given to restore normal heart rhythm and to help the heart beat more strongly. Life support systems may be given such as infusing fluids and giving oxygen. And, finally, treating the cause of the cardiogenic shock may involve angioplasty or other procedures to restore blood flow.

Since the main cause of cardiogenic shock is a heart attack, reducing your risk of coronary artery disease is the best way to prevent cardiogenic shock. Eating a heart healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking are heart healthy lifestyle choices.

 



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