Symptoms Of Hypovolemic Shock: Complications And Treatment

Hypovolemic shock is a condition wherein you lose approximately 20 % of your body’s blood or fluid and can become life threatening. This fluid loss makes it very difficult for your heart to pump adequate blood to your body. Hypovolemic shock can result in organ failure and hence needs immediate emergency medical attention.

The clinical picture of hypovolemic shock depends on the severity of fluid or blood loss. All the symptoms require immediate emergency medical treatment.
Signs and symptoms include:

  • Blood loss (occasionally, there could be internal bleeding; this may be apparent as blood in urine or stool, abdominal pain abdominal swelling.)
  • Blue lips and fingernails
  • Profuse sweating
  • No urination
  • Difficult breathing
  • Giddiness
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Weak pulse
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate

Common Causes Of Hypovolemic Shock

Hypovolemic shock occurs when there is considerable and sudden loss of blood or fluid in your body.

Blood loss may occur due to:

  • Bleeding from a cut or a wound.
  • Bleeding from a blunt traumatic injury because of an accident or seizure.
  • Internal bleeding due to GI tract disease or ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

Loss of body fluids may occur due to:

  • Too much or prolonged diarrhea.
  • Undue sweating.
  • Excessive or long drawn out vomiting.
  • Severe burns.

When there is heavy bleeding, there isn’t adequate blood flow to the organs in your body.

Blood is a carrier of oxygen and other vital substances to your organs and tissues. When the body loses essential substances faster than it can replenish them, then various organs in the body start shutting down.
The heart shuts down and does not circulate sufficient amount of blood through the body, and consequently, symptoms of shock develop. Your blood pressure drops significantly and body temperature plummets, and this can be life threatening.

Complications And Treatment Of Hypovolemic Shock

A lack of blood and fluid in the body results in the following complications:

  • Impairment and damage to the organs such as liver, brain, kidney.
  • Heart attack.
  • Gangrene, this occurs because there is poor circulation of blood in the limbs, triggering tissue death. Also, infection may set in to the gangrenous arm or foot; and this will need amputation.
  • Death.

Impairment due to hypovolemic shock depends up on the rate at which you lose the blood or fluids and the amount lost. In case you have a chronic medical condition such as diabetes mellitus or a kidney, heart or liver disease, these raise the possibility of having a lot of complications from hypovolemic shock.

You need to be given prompt and immediate medical aid. At the hospital, you will be given fluids or blood products intravenously. Your physician will administer drugs to improve the pumping strength of your heart. These include dopamine, epinephrine, nor-epinephrine. Close monitoring of the heart as well as kidney function is a must.

Overall, the outlook of a case of hypovolemic shock will depend on the quantity of blood / fluid that you have lost and the kind of injury you have had. The prognosis is best in healthy individuals not having any chronic heart of kidney condition and who have not had extreme blood loss.