Disease: Cardiogenic shock


    Cardiogenic shock is a condition in which your heart suddenly can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs. The condition is most often caused by a severe heart attack, but not everyone who has a heart attack has cardiogenic shock.

    Cardiogenic shock is rare, but it's often fatal if not treated immediately. If treated immediately, about half the people who develop the condition survive.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    Cardiogenic shock signs and symptoms include:

    • Rapid breathing
    • Severe shortness of breath
    • Sudden, rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Weak pulse
    • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
    • Sweating
    • Pale skin
    • Cold hands or feet
    • Urinating less than normal or not at all

    Symptoms of a heart attack

    Because cardiogenic shock usually occurs in people who are having a severe heart attack, it's important to know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. These include:

    • Pressure, fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes
    • Pain extending to your shoulder, one or both arms, back, or even to your teeth and jaw
    • Increasing episodes of chest pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Sweating
    • Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
    • Nausea and vomiting

    Seek medical attention quickly when having these signs or symptoms to decrease your risk of developing cardiogenic shock.

    When to see a doctor

    Getting heart attack treatment quickly improves your chance of survival and minimizes damage to your heart. If you're having symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 or other emergency medical services for help. If you don't have access to emergency medical services, have someone drive you to the nearest hospital. Don't drive yourself.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    In most cases, a lack of oxygen to your heart, usually from a heart attack, damages its main pumping chamber (left ventricle). Without oxygen-rich blood circulating to that area of your heart, the heart muscle can weaken and go into cardiogenic shock.

    Rarely, damage to your heart's right ventricle, which sends blood to your lungs to receive oxygen, leads to cardiogenic shock.

    Other possible causes of cardiogenic shock include:

    • Inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis)
    • Infection of the heart valves (endocarditis)
    • Weakened heart from any cause
    • Drug overdoses or poisoning with substances that can affect your heart's pumping ability

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    Cardiogenic shock is usually diagnosed in an emergency setting. Doctors will check for signs and symptoms of shock, and will then perform tests to find the cause. Tests might include:

    • Blood pressure measurement. People in shock have very low blood pressure.
    • Electrocardiogram (ECG). This test records the electrical activity of your heart via electrodes attached to your skin. If you have damaged heart muscle, electric problems or fluid buildup around your heart, it won't conduct electrical impulses normally.
    • Chest X-ray. This allows your doctor to check the size and shape of your heart and its blood vessels and whether there's fluid in your lungs.
    • Blood tests. You'll have blood drawn to check for organ damage, infection and heart attack. Another type of blood test called arterial blood gas might be used to measure oxygen in your blood.
    • Echocardiogram. Sound waves produce an image of your heart that can help identify damage from a heart attack.
    • Cardiac catheterization (angiogram). A liquid dye is injected into the arteries of your heart through a long, thin tube (catheter) that's inserted through an artery, usually in your leg. The dye makes your arteries visible on X-ray, revealing areas of blockage or narrowing.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    If not treated immediately, cardiogenic shock can be fatal. Another serious complication is damage to your liver, kidneys or other organs from lack of oxygen, which can be permanent.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    The best way to prevent cardiogenic shock is to make lifestyle changes to keep your heart healthy and your blood pressure in check.

    • Don't smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Several years after quitting smoking, your risk of stroke is the same as that of a nonsmoker.
    • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight contributes to other risk factors for heart attack and cardiogenic shock, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
    • Eat less cholesterol and saturated fat. Limiting these, especially saturated fat, can reduce your risk of heart disease. Avoid trans fat.
    • Limit added sugar and alcohol. This will help you avoid nutrient-poor calories and help you maintain a healthy weight.
    • Exercise regularly. Exercise can lower your blood pressure, increase your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and improve the overall health of your blood vessels and heart. Gradually work up to 30 minutes of activity — such as walking, jogging, swimming or bicycling — on most, if not all, days of the week.

    If you have a heart attack, quick action can help prevent cardiogenic shock. Seek emergency medical help if you think you're having a heart attack.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

    Risk factors

    If you have a heart attack, your risk of developing cardiogenic shock increases if you:

    • Are older
    • Have a history of heart failure or heart attack
    • Have blockages (coronary artery disease) in several of your heart's main arteries
    • Have diabetes or high blood pressure
    • Are female

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

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