Hypovolemic Shock

The term hypovolemic shock refers to circulatory shock that is due to low blood volume, as might be caused by hemorrhage (bleeding), dehydration, or burns. This is accompanied by

438 Chapter Fourteen

Table 14.11

Signs of Shock

Early Sign

Late Sign

Blood pressure

Decreased pulse pressure Increased diastolic pressure

Decreased systolic pressure


Decreased Na+ concentration

Decreased volume

Blood pH

Increased pH (alkalosis) due to hyperventilation

Decreased pH (acidosis) due to "metabolic" acids

Effects of poor tissue perfusion

Slight restlessness; occasionally warm, dry skin

Cold, clammy skin; "cloudy" senses

Source: From Principles and Techniques of Critical Care, Vol. 1, edited by R. F. Wilson. Copyright © 1977 F. A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, PA. Used by permission.

Source: From Principles and Techniques of Critical Care, Vol. 1, edited by R. F. Wilson. Copyright © 1977 F. A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, PA. Used by permission.

Table 14.12 Cardiovascular Reflexes That Help to Compensate for Circulatory Shock

Organ(s) Compensatory Mechanisms

Heart Sympathoadrenal stimulation produces increased cardiac rate and increased stroke volume due to "positive inotropic effect" on myocardial contractility

Digestive tract and skin Decreased blood flow due to vasoconstriction as a result of sympathetic nerve stimulation (alpha-adrenergic effect)

Kidneys Decreased urine production as a result of sympathetic-nerve-induced constriction of renal arterioles; increased salt and water retention due to increased plasma levels of aldosterone and antidiuretic hormone (ADH)

decreased blood pressure and decreased cardiac output. In response to these changes, the sympathoadrenal system is activated by means of the baroreceptor reflex. As a result, tachycardia is produced and vasoconstriction occurs in the skin, digestive tract, kidneys, and muscles. Decreased blood flow through the kidneys stimulates renin secretion and activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. A person in hypovolemic shock thus has low blood pressure; a rapid pulse; cold, clammy skin; and a reduced urine output.

Since the resistance in the coronary and cerebral circulations is not increased, blood is diverted to the heart and brain at the expense of other organs. Interestingly, a similar response occurs in diving mammals and, to a lesser degree, in Japanese pearl divers during prolonged submersion. These responses help to deliver blood to the two organs that have the highest requirements for aerobic metabolism.

Vasoconstriction in organs other than the brain and heart raises total peripheral resistance, which helps (along with the reflex increase in cardiac rate) to compensate for the drop in blood pressure due to low blood volume. Constriction of arterioles also decreases capillary blood flow and capillary filtration pressure. As a result, less filtrate is formed. At the same time, the os motic return of fluid to the capillaries is either unchanged or increased (during dehydration). The blood volume is thus raised at the expense of tissue fluid volume. Blood volume is also conserved by decreased urine production, which occurs as a result of vasoconstriction in the kidneys and the water-conserving effects of ADH and aldosterone, which are secreted in increased amounts during shock.

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  • anu
    Why raised diastolic pressure in hypovolemic shock?
    8 years ago
  • Jannette
    How hemorrhage low blood pressure renin vasoconstriction?
    8 years ago
  • Licia
    Why does a person in hypovolemic shock have cold clammy skin?
    8 years ago
  • Heribald Goold
    Why vasoconstriction in skin during hypovolemic shock?
    8 years ago
  • basso
    Why does a person in hypovolemic shock have a decrease urine output?
    7 years ago
  • sandra
    Why does adh production stop in hypovolemic shock?
    7 years ago
  • Demi-leigh Williamson
    What hormones are produced during hypovolemic shock?
    7 years ago
  • Cora Took-Brandybuck
    What part of the​ body's initial response to hypovolemic​ shock?
    10 months ago
  • gebre yonas
    Does hypovolemic shock make hands cold?
    7 months ago
  • neave
    Why does blood pressure reduce with hypovolemic shock?
    4 months ago
  • Galileo
    What impact does hypovolemic shock have on the cardiovacular system?
    25 days ago
  • tewelde
    What does hypovolemia do to the systems of the body?
    20 days ago

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