Hypovolemic Shock

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hypovolemic shock is the loss of effective circulating blood volume, characterized by sodium depletion, making the heart unable to pump enough blood to the body. Hypovolemic shock is caused by the loss of 1/5 of the normal amount of blood due to wounds bleeding or internal bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. But it can also be caused by severe loss of blood fluids as a result of dehydration from vomiting, perspiration, and diarrhea. The symptoms of a hypovolemic shock include fatigue, anxiety, confusion, clammy skin, rapid breathing, etc; the patient has low blood pressure (hypotension), rapid weak pulse, and low body temperature. It is an emergency case and the patient has to be treated immediately.


The patient has to lie horizontally with the legs raised about 14 inches to keep the blood flowing in the vital organs (heart, brain). Fluids and blood replacement. Adrenaline or dopamine may be administered to increase the blood pressure. Blood transfusions and surgical repair are the definitive treatment for hypovolemia caused by trauma.

How to Manage Hypovolemic Shock