When one hears the term “shock”, most people think they understand it. But there is much more to the term than meets the eye. What many people do not know is that there are many different types of shock. In this article we will tell you the most important things.
What exactly is a shock?
The definition of shock is a circulatory failure of the body. In the worst case, a state of shock can lead to multi-organ failure. This means that gradually the function of the organs fails. Shock usually results in poorer blood flow to smaller blood vessels. As a result, our tissues receive significantly less oxygen, which in turn causes the symptoms of shock.
A distinction can be made between the different types of shock and the stages of shock. If there is a strong shock reaction and just the poorer blood circulation, the body begins to protect the most important organs. Our body primarily protects the brain, the heart and the lungs.
While the body tries to protect the most important organs, it has to pay less attention to other organs. As a result, it is mainly the arms and legs that suffer damage at first. This therefore makes it clear that one should certainly not underestimate a state of shock. Otherwise, you are playing with the life of the affected person.
How does shock occur?
There can be different causes for a shock. It also depends on the type of shock. However, all types of shock have one common denominator and that is the reduced blood supply within the body. Shock can be caused by, for example, heavy bleeding, fear, loss of fluids or even fright. In addition, unusual situations can produce a state of shock. Shock situations are mainly seen in accidents or similar situations with dire consequences. But there are also shock states such as anaphylactic shock, which is caused by a severe allergic reaction.
What are the different types of shock?
Many people do not know that there are different types of shocks. We have compiled the most important types of shock.
The different forms of shock are as follows:
- Anaphylactic shock: This is an extremely severe allergic reaction that can also end in death. You can read more about anaphylactic shock right here.
- Septic shock: Is usually the result of severe sepsis (blood poisoning).
- Hypovolaemic shock: This is a severe loss of blood or fluid. This usually occurs with severe burns, severe injuries, severe diarrhoea or severe vomiting.
- Cardiogenic shock: A state of shock that usually occurs as a result of a heart attack.
In addition to the types of shock, there are also different courses of shock. A distinction is therefore made between the severity of a shock state.
One can distinguish between three different stages:
- compensated shock – stage I
At this stage, mild symptoms of shock become noticeable. The person is frightened, restless and begins to tremble. Breathing is largely stable and the skin is pale.
- decompensated shock – stage II
The affected person is no longer properly conscious. The skin is quite pale and breathing is not normal and much faster. Cold sweat is visible on the skin.
- manifest shock – stage III
At this stage, the affected person’s life is in danger. The person loses consciousness and breathes very shallowly. In addition, the skin turns a light shade of grey.
Note: This is a general description of the types of shock. Depending on the type of shock, there may be additional variations.
How does shock actually make itself felt? The first symptoms become apparent in the various stages. But there are other symptoms that can be attributed to a state of shock.
The most common symptoms of shock:
- Pale skin
- Cold sweat
- Restless breathing
Now the question arises in which situations a shock can occur. Here it also depends on the type of shock. In the case of anaphylactic shock, for example, an allergy is the cause. In the case of septic shock, it is the consequences of sepsis. Nevertheless, there are general causes that can cause a state of shock.
This includes, above all, accidents with major damage. But also, after attacks, in panic situations or similar situations can cause a state of shock.
What to do in case of shock?
If you notice various symptoms of shock in a person in a particular situation, you should give first aid quickly.
Here you will find all the important tips:
- Call the emergency number immediately and request help.
- Try to approach the person concerned and touch them carefully.
- Stay calm and try to reassure the person concerned.
- While conscious, place the person on the floor and elevate the legs. This is to stimulate the blood circulation.
- Observe the course of the symptoms that occur.
- If necessary, the affected person may become unconscious, then place the person in the recovery position.
- Cover the person.
- If respiratory arrest occurs, initiate resuscitation measures.
If you are not able to give first aid, you can also call first aid. With our app, for example, you can request trained first responders in the vicinity. This way, you can also ensure professional help in an emergency.
- Anaphylactic shock: What you need to know!
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- Epileptic seizure: What exactly is behind it?
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