What Is Cardiogenic Shock?
Often when a heart attack is fatal, it is not the heart attack alone that causes death. In some cases, cardiogenic shock is the reason for death, a complication that can occur when a person experiences a heart attack. While rare, cardiogenic shock is extremely dangerous and needs immediate treatment to prevent death or damage to the other organs in the body. Understanding what it is, and the symptoms, can be crucial to ensuring a person suffering from cardiogenic shock gets the treatment they need.
Cardiogenic shock occurs when the heart can no longer pump the blood and oxygen the body needs. Damage to the heart can cause cardiogenic shock, most often from a heart attack that limits oxygen to the left ventricle. Other causes of cardiogenic shock include right ventricle damage, inflammation of the heart muscle, infection in the heart valves, a weakened heart or a heart damaged from a drug overdose. While heart attacks are the main cause of cardiogenic shock, not all heart attacks will cause this condition.
Symptom of Cardiogenic Shock
Recognizing the symptoms of cardiogenic shock can help those with heart issues get the medical care they need. Since cardiogenic shock can be fatal, it is vital to seek immediate medical help. Some symptoms include:
- Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
- Low blood pressure
- Racing heartbeat that comes on suddenly
- Pale skin and cold extremities
- Weak pulse
- Loss of consciousness
- Low or no urination
If you or anyone you know has a heart condition and has any combination of these symptoms, it is imperative to seek immediate medical assistance. Talk to a cardiologist about options to prevent cardiogenic shock and decrease your risk for this serious heart condition.
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