Management of Shock
Shock is a life-threatening circulatory collapse that occurs as a consequence of a multitude of conditions and can lead to multi-organ failure. Patients experiencing shock may present with hypotension, tachycardia, tachypnea, confusion, oliguria, or with a metabolic acidosis or high serum lactate. Initially, the etiology of the shock is unknown, and the primary focus is to stabilize the patient while rapidly identifying the etiology so the appropriate management can be administered before multi-organ failure and death occur. Each type of shock and its etiology have different management strategies; however they share important similarities which include fluid resuscitation and definitive management of the underlying condition. Patients may present with distributive shock, cardiogenic shock, hypovolemic shock, obstructive shock, or a combination of these known as multifactorial shock.