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Hypovolemic shock


What is hypovolemic shock?

Hypovolemic shock is an emergency condition where the loss of blood or body fluids is more than 20 percent.

Generally, as much as 60% of the male body consists of fluids, while as much as 50% of women. Body fluids are excreted in several ways, such as sweating and urinating.

Some conditions can also cause the body to lose too much fluid, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding.

Bleeding is one of the most common causes of hypovolemic shock. Losing too much blood or body fluids can cause various health problems.

How common is this condition?

Hypovolemic shock is one of the most common types of shock. This condition can happen to anyone, but a person’s risk of developing this condition increases with age.

This condition can be overcome and prevented by controlling the existing risk factors. To find out more information regarding this condition, you can consult your doctor.

Signs & Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of hypovolemic shock?

The signs and symptoms that are displayed when a person experiences hypovolemic shock generally varies. This depends on the volume of blood lost and how quickly the body loses blood.

Some sufferers may feel fever, have difficulty breathing, have difficulty standing, and even pass out. Any symptoms that appear can be potentially life threatening and require immediate medical attention.

The symptoms of shock may not appear immediately. The elderly may not experience these symptoms until the condition becomes quite severe.

Symptoms of mild hypovolemic shock generally include:

  • Headache
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headache

In addition, there are more serious symptoms, such as:

  • Cold, pale skin
  • Less or no urine output (no urination)
  • Irregular heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Pulse weakens
  • Confusion
  • Lips turn blue
  • The head feels light
  • Breath is fast and shallow
  • Unconscious

Usually, this condition is also accompanied by symptoms of internal or internal bleeding, such as:

  • Stomach ache
  • Bloody bowel movements
  • Black stool and sticky texture
  • Urine contains blood
  • Vomiting blood
  • Chest pain
  • The stomach is swollen

Even though some signs and symptoms resemble other illnesses, such as the stomach flu, you should check with your doctor if any or more of the above symptoms appear. The longer you wait for more serious symptoms to appear, the more difficult it will be to avoid this organ damage.

What are the stages of hypovolemic shock?

According to the site City Hospitals Sunderland, here are the stages of hypovolemic shock accompanied by how much blood is lost from the body:

1. The first stage

In the early stages, the body loses about under 15 percent of total blood volume. Blood pressure and breathing are still maintained, but the skin starts to look pale.

2. The second stage

In the later stages, the blood loss is around 15-30%. Patients begin to experience shortness of breath, sweating, and slightly increased blood pressure.

3. The third stage

In the third stage of hypovolemic shock, the body has lost 30-40% of blood. This condition results in a drop in blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat.

4. The fourth stage

The blood loss in the final stages has already exceeded 40 percent. This condition causes the pulse to weaken, the heart beats very fast, and the blood pressure is already very low.

When should I see a doctor?

Hypovolemic shock is an emergency condition that requires immediate medical attention. If you have any of the signs or symptoms above or any other questions, don’t delay getting any more help.

Each sufferer’s body shows signs and symptoms that vary. To get the most appropriate treatment and according to your health condition, make sure you always check with your doctor or the nearest health service center.


What causes hypovolemic shock?

As mentioned earlier, the cause of hypovolemic shock is a large loss of blood and body fluids. In fact, blood plays a role in channeling oxygen and nutrients throughout the body so that every organ can function properly.

If the body loses blood or fluids too quickly and the body cannot replace the volume of fluid lost, the organs in the body will experience problems and symptoms of shock appear. Losing one-fifth or more of the normal amount of blood in the body can cause symptoms to occur.

Some things that can make the body lose large amounts of blood include:

  • Internal bleeding, such as gastrointestinal bleeding
  • The wound is quite wide
  • Injury that causes internal organs to be injured
  • Dehydration
  • Ectopic pregnancy

The level of blood circulating in the body can drop if you lose too much body fluid. This condition can be caused by:

  • Burns
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Throw up

Risk factors

What factors increase my risk of developing this condition?

Hypovolemic shock is a medical condition that can occur in almost anyone, regardless of age and racial group. However, there are several factors that can increase a person’s risk for developing this condition.

The following are risk factors that can trigger hypovolemic shock:

1. Age

Although this condition can occur at almost any age, a person’s risk of going into shock increases with age.

2. Had an accident

If you have a motor vehicle accident, fall, or have another accident that causes you to lose a lot of blood, your risk of going into shock is much higher.

3. Have certain diseases or health conditions

If you have digestive tract problems, your internal organs are at risk of bleeding. These conditions increase your chances of going into shock.

Additionally, an abnormal pregnancy, such as an ectopic pregnancy, can also increase the risk of shock because of the chance of damage to the fetus.

People who have certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes, stroke, or heart problems, also have a higher risk of developing these conditions.

Patients with blood disorders, such as hemophilia, are also at risk for this condition. People living with hemophilia bleed longer than normal people, so the risk for blood loss is greater.

It is important for you to know that having one or more risk factors does not mean that you will definitely suffer from a disease or health condition. In some cases, it is possible that you can experience certain health conditions without any risk factors.


What are the complications that can occur due to hypovolemic shock?

Lack of blood and fluid flow in the body can lead to several complications.

According to an article from Harvard Medical School, hypovelemic shock patients who do not receive immediate medical attention may develop ischemic injury to vital organs. This is at risk of causing malfunction in these organs.

Here are some of the complications that can occur due to hypovolemic shock:

  • Kidney damage
  • Brain damage
  • Gangrene of the hands and feet, sometimes causing amputation
  • Heart attack
  • Damage to other organs
  • Dead

The effects of hypovolemic shock depend on how quickly your body loses blood, as well as the volume of blood lost.

If you have a chronic illness such as diabetes, stroke, or heart problems, your risk of developing complications is much higher.

In addition, if you have a blood clotting disorder, such as hemophilia, you are also much more likely to develop complications.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor.

How is hypovolemic shock diagnosed?

Generally, this condition does not immediately show signs or symptoms. So, symptoms will appear when you have been experiencing this condition for some time.

Therefore, a physical examination is needed to check for signs of shock, such as low blood pressure and irregular heartbeats. People in shock are also generally not responsive enough to answer questions that doctors in the emergency department ask.

If external bleeding occurs, this condition will be more easily recognized. However, internal bleeding is usually more difficult to diagnose until the patient shows signs of hemorrhagic shock.

The doctor will perform several additional tests to confirm the results of the diagnosis. Here are the types:

  • Complete blood count to check for electrolyte imbalances, as well as kidney and liver function
  • Imaging tests, such as CT scans, ultrasound, and MRI
  • Echocardiogram to check the structure and function of the heart with sound waves
  • Electrocardiogram to check the rhythm of the heartbeat
  • Endoscopy to examine the esophagus and other digestive organs
  • Right heart catheter
  • Urinary catheter (tube inserted into the urine to measure urine volume)

How to treat this condition?

When the patient arrives at the hospital, the medical team will put in an IV to replace the volume of fluid and blood lost. This is important so that blood circulation is maintained and minimizes organ damage.

The goals of medication and treatment are to control fluid and blood levels, replace lost fluids, and stabilize the patient’s condition.

Some of the procedures that may be performed are:

  • Blood plasma transfusions
  • Platelet transfusions
  • Red blood cell transfusion
  • Crystalloid infusion

The doctor will also give drugs that can improve the function of the heart to pump blood, such as:

  • Dopamine
  • Dobutamine
  • Epinephrine
  • Norepinephrine

Home remedies

What are some first aid, home remedies, or precautions that can be taken to treat hypovolemic shock?

When someone is in shock, here are some steps you can take before going to the doctor or hospital:

  • Keep the person nice and warm to prevent hypothermia.
  • Lay the person with their legs raised about 30 cm to improve circulation.
  • If the person has head, neck, back or leg injuries, do not change positions, as in point 2, unless the person is in a serious condition
  • Do not give fluids by mouth.
  • If the person has to be lifted, keep them lying flat with the head down and the legs up. Stabilize the head and neck before moving the person if spinal cord injury is suspected

If you have any questions, consult your doctor for the best solution to your problem.

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