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Military Medicine
First Aid

What is a late sign or symptom of shock?


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January 16, 2013 10:47PM

Depending on the primary etiology for shock, signs/symptoms will vary.

Usually, evidence of profound or severe shock, without medical interventions, consist of severe neurological deficits (obtunded, coma), however, this is more likely secondary to the effects of shock (uremia, acidosis, hypoxia). Purely speaking, the late sign/symptom of shock is death. Shock in of itself is already a late sign/symptom (progression) of a primary insult to the body (cardiogenic: myocardial infarction or heart attack, heart failure; distributive: Infection, anaphylaxis, neurogenic; Hypovolemic: hemorrhage).

So, the answer is death.

The signs/symptoms of shock (late sign/symptom of primary insult):

Cardiogenic: heart failure (shortness of breath, cough, swelling of lower extremities)

Distributive: Infections (fever, elevated breathing rate, elevated heart rate, warm extremities), anaphylaxis (allergy to a recent insult, shortness of breath, elevated heart rate, warm extremities, hives), neurogenic (recent trauma to spinal cord, normal-low heart rate, quadriplegia, warm extremities), other inflammatory: pancreatitis

Hypovolemic: Hemorrhagic (bleeding from a source), dehydration (cool skin clamy skin, passing out on walking or feeling like passing out on standing, dry lips/mouth, inadequate drinking of fluids)