ALERT Learn More | NASP Certification Program: The Path to Success Has Many Routes. Choose Yours


Last updated: December 15, 2017

What Does Shock Mean?

Shock is a life threatening medical condition in which the blood circulation collapses causing a state of organ hypo perfusion that may lead to cellular dysfunction and ultimately death. It is a state of body not receiving enough blood, oxygen and nutrients required for functioning properly.

Safeopedia Explains Shock

Shock is the state when the body parts and cells are not getting enough blood flow and oxygen required for their proper functions. As a result, organs may suffer from irrecoverable damage or even death. The patient needs immediate medical treatment in case of shock. Emotional or psychological shock are different than medical shock. These may happen due to a traumatic or frightening emotional occurrence.

There are many types of shock as stated below:

  • Septic shock – caused by bacteria releasing toxins in blood (pneumonia, meningitis).
  • Anaphylactic shock - caused by allergic reaction (insect bite or food).
  • Cardiogenic shock – caused by damaged heart or congestive heart failure.
  • Hypovolemic shock - is caused by severe blood and fluid loss in an injury or due to a disease.
  • Obstructive shock – is caused by obstruction of blood flow outside of the heart due to cut injury or pressure on blood vessels.

Shocks can be treated by one or more of the followings:

  • Increase of blood supply to the organs by raising leg above the body level
  • Increasing the blood pressure, if it is lower than usual
  • Administering blood and fluid in the vein in case of blood or fluid loss
  • Warming up the body temperature of the patient to normal, if found cold
  • Clearing the airway to the lungs and/or administer oxygen
  • Use medicine as advised by the doctor

Share this Term

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Related Reading


Emergency ServicesEmployee HealthEHS ProgramsFirst Aid

Trending Articles

Go back to top