What is Cardiogenic Shock?

what is cradiogenic shockMr. Appler had a heart attack and went into cardiogenic shock. In the emergency room, the doctor told the family that cardiogenic shock commonly occurs after the heart muscle is damaged by a heart attack. The family also learned that Mr. Appler would be evaluated for additional heart damage when his condition was stabilized. The family wants to learn more. Let’s explain:

Cardiogenic shock is the inability of the heart to pump enough blood to the body to provide oxygen and nutrients and remove cellular waste. It is an emergency condition because the body cannot live without adequate oxygen. Decreased oxygen and reduced blood flow can cause organ damage and death.

People most at risk for cardiogenic shock are the elderly, those who have had previous heart attacks, high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol. To reduce your risk of cardiogenic shock, keep your blood pressure under control, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of cardiogenic shock listed below. If you notice these symptoms call 911 immediately so medical personnel can provide emergency care on the way to the hospital!

Signs and Symptoms of Cardiogenic Shock

  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Feeling confused, disoriented or faint
  • Pale and cold hands and feet
  • Weak pulse
  • Reduced urine production

The goals of treatment are to restore blood flow to the body and prevent organ damage. Once the person is stable, the cause of cardiogenic shock can be determined and treated, as necessary.

Next Steps