Shock

When the heart and blood vessels are not able to deliver enough blood to the vital organs, the body goes into shock. Shock requires immediate medical treatment.

Early signs of shock (most of these will be present)

  • Lightheadedness or feeling that you are going to pass out
  • Restlessness, confusion, or signs of fear
  • Shallow, rapid breathing
  • Moist, cool skin; possibly profuse sweating
  • Weakness
  • Increased thirst, nausea, and/or vomiting

Late signs of shock

  • Changes in level of consciousness, such as sudden unresponsiveness, faintness, loss of consciousness, or behavior changes
  • Pale face, blue lips, and/or earlobes

Last Updated: June 10, 2008

Author: Jan Nissl, RN, BS

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

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